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Choosing the Right TOC for your Laboratory

Posted by Tyler Trent on Wed, Mar 29, 2023 @ 10:11 AM

Choosing the Right TOC for Lab_Blog Social Media ImageTotal Organic Carbon (TOC) plays a vital role in today’s laboratory. There are two main types of TOC systems in today’s market: UV-Persulfate oxidation, and high temperature combustion oxidation. While these two systems have some areas of overlap, they offer different solutions for the laboratory. 

Read more to learn about the differences between these two systems.

Let’s begin with the basics. The high temperature combustion TOC analyzer uses platinum catalyst in an oxygen rich atmosphere to convert carbon to CO2, and this gas is measured by a non-dispersive infrared detector (NDIR), while the UV-Persulfate converts carbon to CO2 via a chemical oxidation process. The sample interacts with Sodium Persulfate and UV light to convert the carbon to CO2, and then the CO2 gas is measured by the same NDIR that is used in the high temperature combustion system. Once analyzed, this value will represent the amount of carbon present in your sample.

The main difference between these two systems is the sample type. Typically, when a laboratory is analyzing drinking water or ultra-pure water, they will choose the UV-Persulfate TOC. This is because the samples are clean, meaning there are no visible particulates present in the sample. Also, the UV-Persulfate system is more sensitive than that of combustion. Typically, a UV-Persulfate system is used for single digit ppmC levels down to low ppbC levels. Laboratories that are running UV-Persulfate TOC are typically accredited for the following methods: EPA415.1, EPA415.3, Standard Method 5310C, USP TOC Method <643>, EP 2.2.44 and others.

High-temperature combustion TOC is used for dirtier samples, such as wastewater, process water, industrial water, ground/surface water and even sea water and brines. These samples could contain particles which need to be combusted to be analyzed. These samples have a typical concentration range from low ppmC to hundreds or thousands of ppmC. Laboratories that are running high-temperature combustion TOC are typically accredited for the following methods: EPA415.1, EPA415.3, Standard Method 5310B, ISO8245 and others.

Choosing the right instrument for your laboratory is critical. If you are having trouble choosing which TOC system is right for your laboratory, please reach out to Teledyne Tekmar and we will be happy to assist you with your selection. The wrong choice could leave you with an under-performing instrument or an increase in service-related issues.

TOC is an excellent choice for the pharmaceutical industry so that water testing and cleaning validation can be performed with ease. For more information as to how Teledyne Tekmar and Teledyne Pharma can assist you, please click the link below.

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Teledyne Tekmar is always looking to hire qualified chemists.  To see a current list of job openings visit http://www.teledynecareers.com/ 

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Tags: TOC, Laboratory Technology

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