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Identifying Soot and Other Soot-Like Materials to Resolve Environmental and Industrial Challenges

Advanced MicroAnalytical offers unknown material identification services to detect and categorize unexplained residues, deposits and other unknown substances.


Soot and soot-like materials can appear in a building or manufacturing facility due to a number of reasons. These materials may deposit on floors, walls, furnishings and other objects or materials. Quite often, they are observed around ventilation grilles and electrical outlets. The culprit for this “ghosting” phenomenon is sometimes caused by smoke residues or due to activities and materials being used within the property.

Soot, also known as black carbon, is a fine-grained solid residue that results from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. A common source of soot is from fires. A wildfire or building fire can produce an enormous amount of smoke that can easily infiltrate the indoor environment of a structure quite some distance from the actual flames. This smoke is filled with combustion by-products that include soot/black carbon, ash and char.

Other common sources include the combustion of fuels such as oil, propane and natural gas. Even candles or wood burned in a fireplace or a wood-burning stove can create soot issues. In an office setting, printer cartridges filled with carbon black have even been known to produce soot-like residues on surfaces.

Understanding the composition of an unknown residue or material is a fairly common, yet complex, challenge encountered during environmental investigations and sometimes in manufacturing facilities. Finding these answers is a specialty of the scientists at Advanced MicroAnalytical. Their materials testing laboratory uses a wide range of highly sensitive instrumentation to determine the cause and source of a sample.

To learn more about this or other material testing and support services provided by Advanced MicroAnalytical, please visit, call (877) 605-6662 or email .

About Advanced MicroAnalytical
At Advanced MicroAnalytical we are dedicated to providing you and your business with critical insight and knowledge that is essential in the modern era. We provide the testing services and analytical tools for comprehensive understanding of your materials and projects. Our services range from advanced microanalysis of nanotechnology to compositional and functional analysis of large manufactured systems.  Our laboratory services span a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, micro-electronics, nanofabrication, aerospace and defense, environmental engineering – as well as many others. Advanced MicroAnalytical is committed to serving as a valued analytical partner to our clients. We offer unmatched analysis, testing, and services to assist you in your business, environmental, and research challenges. Visit our website at

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