Air toxics

Fast and Sensitive Measurement of Air Toxics and Pollution Precursors

Background

Air Toxics Monitoring

Ambient air contains air toxics, also known as “toxic air pollutants” or “hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)” that may cause serious health effects. They contain a wide range of compounds, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) ranging in volatility from formaldehyde and ethane to hexachlorobutadiene and dodecane. They are emitted from various sources under many challenging conditions and typically in trace concentration levels, e.g. parts per billion and trillion (ppb and ppt). Accurate measurements of these speciated VOCs that may be undergoing rapid changes requires the instrument extremely sensitive, fast and robust.

Real-time measurement of VOCs in the atmosphere, in indoor work or living environments and in closed manufacturing spaces can be very useful in various fields, such as climate change research, air quality, quality control, or process monitoring. At trace concentration levels, the chemical composition of air is complex and compounds of interest may be undergoing rapid changes in concentration related to, for instance, dynamic changes in their source. Because they are capable of resolving and simultaneously monitoring large numbers of VOCs at sub ppb levels with extremely high time resolution, our TOFs are frequently used for online air monitoring.

Solutions

  • Real-Time VOC Analysis of Air Toxics Using the Vocus PTR-TOF

    • Highest sensitivity available with sub-ppt
      limits of detection
    • High mass resolving power enables
      identification of individual compounds within
      complex mixtures
    • Real-time and fast data output capturing rapid
      changes in VOC concentrations and suitable
      for mobile monitoring
    • Full spectrum acquisition allows
      measurements of wide range of compounds simultaneously

    What is PTR-MS?

     

    Example time series of ambient xylene concentrations recorded with the PTR-TOF 2R at 2 Hz. The inset demonstrates the precision and fast response during a period when concentrations were between 150 and 350 pptv.

  • Standard Offline GC-MS Method Analysis Using the EI-TOF for GC

    • High mass resolving power allows separation of isobaric ions
    • High mass accuracy enables confident identification and separates interferences
    • Ultra-sensitive detection for sub-ppb trace VOCs
    • Outstanding spectrum quality perfectly matches NIST library
    • Standard method compliant, e.g. US EPA TO-15

    A 5-min GC analysis of a 50 ppb hydrocarbon and CFC mixture.

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