The introduction of new nitrogen-free X-ray sensors has enabled Australian company Intellection to provide safer, faster and more reliable mineral processing tools for the international geoscience business community.

The new sensors are the latest innovation integrated into Intellection's mineral analysis system QEMSCAN, which is based on research pioneered by the Australian Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The original QEMSCAN systems, which are used in geosciences, metallurgical and materials laboratories and research institutions, used liquid nitrogen for cooling the X-ray sensors to reduce electrical noise and improve sensitivity.

Intellection's chief executive officer, Calvin Treacy, indicates the new X-ray sensor technology overcomes the reliance on liquid nitrogen, which can be expensive and inherently dangerous.

Companies in Australia, India and Chile are already using systems with the new nitrogen-free sensors, while a number of other firms are thought to be planning system upgrades to accommodate the new technology.

US-based Phelps Dodge, one of the leading producers of copper, is one of those companies looking to upgrade its systems. Spokesman Wolfgang Baum said, $quot;We plan to upgrade all of our systems to safer nitrogen-free systems and it is a significant added bonus that these are also faster and easier to maintain.$quot;