Chemistry Laboratory

Professor John Kola Chemistry Analysis Laboratory is an accredited, national chemical testing laboratory that has been in operation for more than three decades.

The laboratory is equipped with the most modern scientific equipment such as Inductive Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometers, ultra High Pressure Liquid Chromatography, UV Spectrophotometer and other minor bench-top instruments. It has the capacity for an annual turnover of 10 000 analyses. The Laboratory is registered to PNGLAS in ISO/IEC 17025 standard. It is located along Pari Road, Kila Kila in the National Capital District.

The laboratory provides technical and advisory support on soil and plant analytical data to cocoa and coconut industries, coffee industry, rubber, tea, oil palm, sugarcane, agro industries, and food production sectors including farmers, NGOs and individuals. It also provides water quality data to water management and regulators, data on natural surface streams/creeks and river water bodies, raw water processors, clean water and soft drinks processor, livestock, irrigations and drinking water quality checks including bore wells, and tank stored rain water and bottled waters.

The Laboratory offers a wide range of chemical analytical and diagnostic services in: 1) soil analysis and soil fertility assessments, 2) foliar or plant nutritional tissue testing, 3) waters quality/pollutants testing and 4) food testing including natural products (stock feeds) and 5) rubber testing, and 6) laboratory quality management.

Soil Analysis

The laboratory analyses soil samples to determine chemical elements (available nutrients or plant food) to assess the fertility status of the soil. The test results would show whether a soil is suitable for planting crops. Test results also assist determine suitability for crops research projects, land use studies, fertilizer application programs for large estates and soil use advice for small holder farmers and individuals. Soil analysis will assist predict or forecast occurrence of nutritional problems especially in plantation crops, and remedial fertiliser applications can be recommended.

Plant Tissue Analysis

Foliar or plant leaf (leaves) samples of cash crops and food crops are analysed to assess chemical compositions. Analysis results can show current nutritional status of growing plants which would indicate adequacy or deficiency of one or more nutrients (plant food) before they become an economic concern. The test results can be used to formulate a remedial cost effective fertilizer programs in conjunction with soil analysis data to maximise crop yields. Leaf samples from many field crops can be analysed including: sweet potato, aibika, bananas, pasture grasses, sugarcane, coffee, rubber, cocoa, oil palm, coconuts etc.

Water and Environment Testing

Water samples from different water bodies such as agricultural and irrigation water supplies, bore water supplies, river waters, industrial processed waters, effluents, sea water and surface runoffs (streams, creeks, pools) can be analysed for their chemical compositions to assess water qualities or contaminants. A wide range of chemical testing on water is available and includes nutrients, anions, traces metals and other physiochemical parameters. For processed or treated discharged waters, analysis can be done to check compliance with PNG (CEPA) regulated water use permit criteria.

Microbiological (coliform) populations in potable drinking water supplies which include processed waters, fresh free flowing streams/creeks and bore water supplies are analysed. The test results would demonstrate microbial qualities in compliance with WHO and USEPA quality specifications for drinking water. More information on collection of samples, and what to test for, could be obtained by contacting the address given below.

Food Analysis Laboratory (Food and Agriculture Products)

Foods including market food crops such as aibika, yams, cassava, sweet potatoes, taro, bananas and processed foods are analysed to assess their nutritional values (chemical compositions). Proximate analysis especially on natural products and stock feeds includes tests like crude protein, crude fibre, moisture (ash), nutrients and metals can be done on a routine basis. Test results of stock feeds are used to assist researches in stock feed formulation. Proximate tests are carried in natural products such as pyrethrum, vanilla, galip nuts, cocao, coffee and tea products for quality attributes for export purposes. More specialised tests can also be done in cocao, coffee and tea products for marketing purposes. Food testing would undertake afflotoxin, pesticide residues, maximum residual limits (MRL) and heavy metal toxicities in natural products. Qualities on fertilisers (Liming), stock feeds, agricultural factory wastes etc can be analysed. Metals and heavy metals in fivers livers and ther identified biological specimens can also be assessed.

Rubber Testing

National Rubber Standards Laboratory (NSRL) conducts commercial certification tests for processed rubber samples from rubber factories. The service includes collection of rubber samples for certification testing, PNCCR grading and certification of processed rubber for exports, PNGCR quality conformance inspection and certification of rubber factories, and DRC content of latex and cup-lump rubber, compliance auditing of factory effluent discharges in line with PNG (CEPA) regulated water use permit.

Quality Standards

John Kola Laboratory is an accredited national analysis laboratory and is registered under PNG Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (PNGLAS), managed by NISIT. All her in-house test methods are adopted from approved and published methods by Association of Official Analytical Association (AOAC) for soil and plant materials including natural products, and American Public Health Association (APHA) for water and environmental samples.

The Laboratory participates in regular international sample exchange proficiency testing programs such as Soil Chek, Plant Chek and Water Chek managed by Global Proficiency Testing of New Zealand. In addition to proficiency testing, the laboratory also has its own strict internal quality controls to maintain confidence in the test results. This can be illustrated when two or more of controlled standards are inserted in every new batch of analysis with unknown samples and acceptance of analysis data is dependent on the outcome of the control samples. Specialist staff training through on and off-site programs are an ongoing exercise to enable staff to keep abreast of changes in new technologies and subsequent changes in the analytical approaches/techniques.

All analysis results are reported on an “as received basis”, unless we are contracted to collect the samples. Sample submission forms, chain of custody (COC) always accompany samples for testing.

Contact us on for details on samples collections, full list of chemical analysis, service charges/costs and other information.

For further information contact:

The Laboratory Manager
National Chemistry Analysis Laboratory
PO Box 8277,
BOROKO NCD
Papua New Guinea

Landline: (675) 3212690 / 3202345 / 3201516

Mobile : (675) 70569862 / 75792487

Fax: (675) 3202411

Email: narichemistry@nari.org.pg