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Journal of Automatic Chemistry
Volume 12 (1990), Issue 3, Pages 95-103

The role of flow injection analysis within the framework of an automated laboratory

P S Analytical Ltd, Arthur House, B4 Chaucer Business Park, Watery Lane, Kernsing, Kent, Sevenoaks TN15 6QY, UK

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Flow Injection Analysis (FIA) was invented at roughly the same time by two quite dissimilar research groups [1,2]. FIA was patented by both groups in 1974; a year also marked by the publication of the first book on automatic chemical analysis [3]. This book was a major undertaking for its authors and it is hoped that it has added to the knowledge of those analysts attempting to automate their work or to increase the level of computerization/automation and thus reduce staffing commitments. This review discusses the role of FIA in laboratory automation, the advantages and disadvantages of the FIA approach, and the part it could play in future developments.

It is important to stress at the outset that the FIA approach is all too often closely paralleled with convention al continuous flow analysis (CFA). This is a mistake for many reasons, none the least of which because of the considerable success of the CFA approach in contrast to the present lack of penetration in the commercial market-place of FIA instrumentation.