Loss on Ignition Testing

SOCOTEC has provided clients with LOI testing services for many years, helping them to accurately determine how much naturally occurring material is present in their waste.

SOCOTEC’s LOI analysis, carried out under UKAS 0001 accreditation, ensures that any material being disposed of is done so in the most appropriate manner. Testing is carried out by subjecting the fines – small particles created through mechanical waste treatment processes – to extremely high temperatures. During this process, all organic matter is burned off, and the reduction of mass is calculated, indicating how much has been lost on ignition, hence LOI.


Why test LOI fines?

The LOI test is important for waste management organisations as, under current HMRC regulations, they must prove that they are classifying materials correctly and paying the appropriate amount of landfill tax. In April 2016, legislation came into force that put a 10% cap on LOI values in waste fines for those wishing to qualify for a lower (£2.65 per tonne of waste) tax bracket. Any fines that contain a higher LOI value are now subject to the significantly higher rate of £84.40 per tonne.


How to Qualify for the Reduced Tax Rate

To qualify for the reduced tax rate, companies need to have representative samples of fines tested under laboratory conditions in line with the most recent Government guidance. To help customers manage compliance across their sites, SOCOTEC provides a range of UKAS accredited tests that help them accurately evaluate the chemical content of their waste and correctly classify it under UK law.


SOCOTEC’s LOI process includes:

  • Drying 1kg sample
  • Creating 220g sub-sample
  • Removing particles exceeding 20mm
  • Grinding sub-samples to 2mm
  • Oven drying 20g of the homogenous sample
  • Transferring to a muffle furnace
  • Cooling sample in a desicator
  • Organic matter should now be burnt off
  • Re-weighing sample
  • Difference in weights is loss on ignition


Read more about Loss on Ignition with our FAQs

SOCOTEC’s accredited methods are compliant with both HMRC requirements and Revenue Scotland.

 * A listing of SOCOTEC’s UKAS accredited activities can be found in our schedules of accreditation – Testing Laboratories 0001