Flame Ionisation Detector
scientific instrument for chemical analysis
Suppose you wanted to analyse the chemicals within a sample, for example, drugs in the blood or urine of an Olympic athlete. You'd use a gas chromatograph (GC), an instrument that separates the chemicals within a sample when it is injected into gas flowing through a tube.
An Australian innovation called the flame ionisation detector (FID) is built into the GC. The FID enables chemists to identify the type and quantity of chemicals separated in the GC.
The FID was invented by Ian McWilliam and Bob Dewar at ICI in Melbourne. It's invaluable for medical diagnosis, food analysis and measuring air pollutants. In fact without FID's we couldn't detect many environmental and health hazards.
ICI patented the FID and made a few for their own use, then licensed 37 overseas companies to make them.
Who Did It?
ICI Australia Limited : R&D, design, manufacture
Ian McWilliam : researcher
Bob Dewar : research team leader
Research to reality
M Southern (ed)
AIRG, Melbourne, 1980, p 20-21.
in Australia 1788-1988, ATSE
Explanation of how a
Orica (formerly ICI Australia)
Atomic Absorption Spectrometer