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
Troubleshooting analytical instrumentation can be a cumbersome process. If we remember a few rules, the task can be simplified. First, take a moment to review the manuals for the instrumentation. Second, examine the facts and use valid reasoning to identify the root cause of the problem. Concentrate on anything that may have changed, like a column, trap, etc. Avoid “quick fixes” as they may cause more problems down the road. The most important thing is to be patient.
In gas phase analysis, water can be a big challenge. Like the analytes of interest, it is volatile. Generally in gas chromatography, water can be the enemy of just about every component of the GC, from the injector to the column to the detector. And when using a purge and trap concentrator for the sample preparation, the matrix is water, so dealing with it is unavoidable. Our task, then, is to try to decrease the amount of water and minimize the effects of water on the GC and the resulting chromatography.