Addressing the need for more innovation in the mining industry, Canadian start-up, ColdBlockTM Technologies Inc (ColdBlock) with research partner, Brock University, unveiled its pioneering ColdBlock Laboratory Sample Digestion Technology at PDAC 2015. ColdBlock Digestion is a new and innovative sample digestion technology using short-wave infrared radiation to primarily energise sample particles. This unique method rapidly dissolves solid matter into a solution for instrumental multi-element analysis.ColdBlock Technologies collaborated with Dr Ian Brindle, Professor of Chemistry at Brock University to validate the technology and develop new chemistries for sample preparation that are greener and take efficiency to a new level. ColdBlock Digestion offers mining operations a new alternative to achieve productivity gains.Unlike other sample digestion methods that have been used for decades, ColdBlock’s technology uses infrared emitters to generate very high heat, which is absorbed by the sample particles directly. As a result, the technology delivers fast digestion rates of between 10 and 15 minutes, “with excellent recovery of elements across an array of precious and base metals including chromium ore.” By reducing the amount of acid required for the digestion process and eliminating harmful reagents such as perchloric acid, it is a greener technology that the company believes will have a positive impact on workplace safety and the environment. ColdBlock Digestion was also designed for automation to benefit mining operations and laboratories by reducing sample preparation time and accelerating sample throughput.ColdBlock Digestion’s road to the marketplace began soon after its creation in 2009. Mississauga’s RIC Centre helped form a collaboration that included the government, academia and the private sector to help fund and support the research and development of the technology; it included Brock University, The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Ontario Centres for Excellence (OCE) and Barrick Gold.“Today’s release of ColdBlock Digestion marks the first step in our company’s global launch. We aspire to become a leading sample digestion technology for the mining industry and look to expand into the environmental and other industries in the near future,” said Nick Kuryluk, CEO, ColdBlock Technologies.“The science behind ColdBlock allows us to prepare samples for analysis in a surprisingly short time. Digestions take less than 15 minutes and results are comparable with those from other, usually slower, digestion technologies. Coupled with the elimination of perchloric acid, and the overall reduction in the volume of acids needed, makes ColdBlock a greener and safer technology,” stated Dr Brindle.ColdBlock Digestion was co-invented by Ron Emburgh and Ravi Kanipayor in 2009 when years of laboratory experience led them to search for an alternative sample dissolution method. ColdBlock Technologies was founded in 2010 to develop, test and bring to market their innovative sample dissolution technology. Since that time, ColdBlock Technologies has collaborated with government, academia and industry to develop the technology.