Difference Between Discrete Analyzer And Continuous Flow Analyzer

home > 


> Difference Between Discrete Analyzer And Continuous Flow Analyzer

Difference Between Discrete Analyzer And Continuous Flow Analyzer

by | Aug 14, 2023

A discrete analyzer and a continuous flow analyzer are both instruments used in analytical chemistry to automate the analysis of liquid samples for various parameters. The main difference between discrete and continuous flow analyzers lies in their analytical approaches and the way they process samples.

Figure 1: Schematic representation of Discrete and Continuous flow analyzer

Discrete Analyzer:

The discrete analyzer conducts analysis on individual samples sequentially. It functions by transferring small and distinct portions (aliquots) of the samples into reaction cuvettes. Inside these cuvettes, specific chemical reactions take place to measure the desired parameter. The process is discrete, meaning each sample is analyzed independently. This versatility enables the instrument to analyze multiple samples using different methods simultaneously.

Figure 2: SmartChem 450 – Discrete Analyzer

The AMS Alliance SmartChem wet chemistry analyzer series are discrete analyzers for automated photometric and electrochemical analysis. These tabletop and stand-alone Smartchem® analyzers offer complete analytical solutions with our ready-to-use reagents.

They run from 160 to 600 tests per hour and have different loading capacities for samples and reagents. The SmartChem® Series uses direct-read photometry, utilising a true discrete, direct-read measurement system and reusable, high-purity optical cuvettes, eliminating compromised sample measurement.

The SmartChem® Series is widely used for the automation of manually run wet chemistry testing in environmental, industrial, and research laboratories, including regulatory and quality control testing.

Its applications include, but are not limited to, water and waste water analysis. It can measure multiple parameters such as Alkalinity, Nitrite, Ammonia, sulphate, and many more following regulatory methods such as IS, ISO and EPA methods.

Key characteristics of the SmartChem discrete analyzer:

  • Versatility in analyzing different parameters and multiple methods.
  • Flexibility in analyzing samples with different properties or concentrations
  • Increased efficiency and productivity through instrument consolidation and testing automation. Free up your staff from tedious and repetitive tasks.
  • Microlitre reactions – Reduced reagent usage and waste generation – improved cost efficiency and environmental footprint
  • Guaranteed stability, reproducibility, and traceability with ready-to-use dedicated reagents
  • Improved automation level with optional bar code readers for reagents and samples, allowing LIMS integration.
  • Automated out-of-range retesting decision-making
  • Cost-end environmental efficiency via Cuvette Monitored Wash Cycle.
  • Optimization of time-consuming techniques such as pH, Conductivity, and ORP


Continuous Flow Analyzer:

A continuous flow analyzer, on the other hand, operates by continuously flowing samples through a system of tubing and mixing chambers. It continuously mixes the sample with reagents to induce the desired chemical reactions for analysis. The sample flow is timed precisely, and the instrument detects the analyte concentrations at specific points in the reaction process.

Figure 3: FUTURA 3 – Continuous Flow Analyzer

The AMS Alliance FUTURA 3 is a  Continuous Flow Analyzer for testing different parameters in sea water, drinking water, wastewater, environmental samples, soil, food, beverages, tobacco, and many other matrices. It comes with programmable automated preparation of standard and sample solutions (using digestion or an in-line distillation module), pre- and post-dilution of off-scale samples, and automatic rinsing, thus eliminating manual sample preparation methods such as in-line digestion and in-line extraction. It can work on parameters such as cyanide, nitrite, nitrate, phenol, TKN, chloride, and many more.

Key characteristics of FUTURA 3 continuous flow analyzer:

  • High Performance: high throughput, up to 120 samples per hour with an auto-sampler, full automation of routine and complex chemistries
  • High Modularity: integrated or combined instruments up to 14 channels, multiple flow cells, micro or macro flow
  • Simplicity and advanced automation reduce operator intervention time.
  • Full Automation: programmable start-up and shut-down, preparation of standard solutions, pre- and post-dilution of off-scale samples, and automatic rinsing
  • Sophisticated design and software dedicated to CFA technology guarantees the lowest level of detection and are comparable to reference methods.
  • Compliant with reference methods: ISO, EPA, AFNOR, APAHA, OIV, CORESTA


In summary, the primary distinction between a discrete analyzer and a continuous flow analyzer lies in how they process samples and conduct chemical reactions. Discrete analyzers handle individual samples separately, offering greater flexibility, while continuous flow analyzers continuously process samples for higher throughput and efficiency. The choice between these two analyzers depends on the specific needs of the laboratory and the type of analysis required.

Upgrade your wet chemistry analysis with the AMS Alliance SmartChem® Discrete Analyzer and FUTURA 3 – Continous flow analyzer. Contact Anchrom Enterprises Pvt. Ltd, the exclusive supplier of laboratory equipment.

Email us at lab@anchrom.in and elevate your laboratory efficiency today.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image