Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR): an effective tool for the analysis of problem samples

FTIR Spectroscopy is a versatile analytical technique capable of providing a chemical fingerprint for a wide range of inorganic and organic samples.  FTIR Spectroscopy can identify, characterise and qualify a large variety of samples from biological to clay minerals.  It excels at tackling ‘problem samples’, identifying unknowns or confirming identification based on a reference material.  

James Hutton Limited typically uses FTIR for industrial applications such as:

  • Blockages in pipelines e.g. sludges and naphthenates 
  • Scale deposits and corrosion products
  • Failed/degraded ‘O’ rings and seals
  • Engineering component/engine internal deposits
  • Polymer identification/classification e.g. paints, plastics, coatings
  • Produced water solids
  • The various properties of animal feedstuffs such as protein, crude fat and fibre content


Our FTIR Laboratory provides a comprehensive range of analyses solutions tailored to each sample type, from simple homogenous materials to highly complex matrices and mixtures.

We deliver:

  • Comprehensive sample preparation procedures that ensure that all components in a mixture are analysed
  • Expert interpretation of FTIR spectra by highly experienced analysts
  • Confidence in material identification by use of extensive commercial and in-house IR spectral libraries, covering a diverse range of natural and synthetic compounds
  • Full written report including details of sample handling, IR spectra and a definitive conclusion


The James Hutton Institute FTIR laboratory is accredited to ISO17025; this is an internationally recognised Quality Standard providing confidence at every step, from sample receipt to the final report.

A fast turnaround service is available for the analysis of high priority samples.

FTIR is just one of a range of analytical services available via James Hutton Limited.  Used alone or in conjunction with others, FTIR can provide valuable insight into contamination problems in a wide variety of industries and materials. 

Jean Robertson For more information about the work in this section and sample preparation contact:
Jean Robertson
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 395119

James Hutton Limited, Dundee: Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA Scotland +44 (0)1382 568 568 

James Hutton Limited, Aberdeen: Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB15 8QH Scotland +44 (0)8449 285 428