In September, we hosted a webinar about using alternative gases for volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis. Helium is by far the choice carrier gas and is used for many purposes besides VOC analysis. Unfortunately, the price for helium has increased and shortages are being reported worldwide, this in spite of the fact that helium is the second most abundant element in the universe. Since 2008, the price of helium has increased by a factor of 2.5 every year, and one scientist estimates that a party balloon could cost as much as $100 in the near future. Helium is used as a cooling source for semiconductor magnets, in MRI scanners, fiber optics and LCDs, for industrial leak detection and to make breathing easier for deep-sea divers.
Tekmar Talk Blog
Within the Uintah Basin of Utah there are 15 evaporation pond farms that manage liquid waste. Recently, one of the facilities in Grand County, Utah, which receives wastewater from oil and gas mining in Colorado, was found to be operating without air-quality permits for the past six years. Since April 2008, the facility has released “tons of toxic chemicals” into the air. The company, Danish Flats Environmental Services, had also provided faulty data that did not accurately report the effectiveness of emission-control equipment on site. An analysis conducted by the states Division of Air Quality found that the site was a “major emission source for hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds.” The company was subsequently fined $50,000 for its violations.
When a NBC Nightly News story showed our instruments preparing water samples after the recent 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) contamination of West Virginia drinking water, we felt like heroes, and yes, maybe a bit like parents. There was our very own Stratum Purge and Trap Concentrator and AQUATek 70 Vial Autosampler at work in Cincinnati’s Richard Miller Water Treatment Plant.
Our recent Application Note: "Achieving Low-Level Detection of Benzene in Beverages with an Automated Headspace Vial Sampler" and accompanying webinar “Benzene in Beverages - How Low Can We Go” brought many thoughts to mind (to view Benzene Analysis resources and the webinar, please click the button at the bottom of this blog). Foremost was that I knew next to nothing about Benzene, how it could end up in my soft drink, and what potential health effects it might have. I remembered vaguely hearing about it in my childhood. My general conception was that there was nothing good about it. Being myself a wary food consumer (you’ll find me reading the back panels of food boxes in the grocery store), this was a subject for my inner food skeptic. What I discovered was not nearly as straight forward as I had presumed.
Excitement abounds in the Teledyne Tekmar labs as the Versa headspace autosampler continues to meet the challenges of an ever-changing environmental science world. Its big brother, the HT3, started this excitement when it successfully met the challenge to detect low levels of 1,4-dioxane, bromoform, acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride in water following new environmental guidance from Korea and the Asian market.
The US EPA hosted a technical workshop on analytical chemical methods for hydraulic fracturing on February 25th in Research Triangle Park, NC. The goal of these workshops is to gather together stakeholders, technical experts, and EPA representatives to get updates on the progress of the EPA’s testing with regards to hydraulic fracturing. It also serves as a forum to discuss best testing practices and methodologies for this area. Teledyne Tekmar was privileged to participate as a speaker and participant in the round table panel discussions that coincided with the workshop.
Tags: VOC, Teledyne Tekmar, Sample Preparation, Volatile Organic Compounds, drinking water, chromatography, Hydraulic Fracturing, Fracking, Analytical Instrumentation, Concentrator, Autosampler, Analyzer
Automated sample preparation is built upon making instruments easier to use, faster, and more efficient. More recent features to purge and trap systems like mass flow controllers and variable volume standard addition, give more method flexibility than legacy products. The 27 mL syringe on our Atomx VOC sample prep system allows for dilution of high level samples as well as automated methanol extractions.
The Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program (UCMR3) recently announced a new rule that requires public drinking water facilities to collect data on roughly 30 contaminants from January 2013 through December 2015. For the VOC portion of this rule, seven (down from the original nine) were selected for analysis by US EPA Method 524.3, using selective ion monitoring (SIM) to reach MRLs as low as 0.03 µg/L.