With the holiday season upon us, your laboratory might be slowing or shutting down as you take time off from work. If you or your colleagues are away from your instruments for more than a long weekend, there are steps you can take to ensure a smooth startup when you get back into the laboratory.
Teledyne Tekmar has been building commercial purge and trap concentrators for more than 40 years. Labs worldwide associate the Tekmar name with innovative, high-quality products for analyzing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In March, we introduced the newest member of our purge and trap family, the Lumin Purge and Trap Concentrator, an ideal solution for drinking water and wastewater applications.
The Lumin Purge and Trap Concentrator is an eighth generation system, and combines tried-and-true features with new innovation, to create the fastest and most reliable concentrator in the Tekmar line-up. The new features and benefits will carry our company into the next decade.
The benefits include:
In the May 1, 2016 issue of Mass Spectrometry, researchers from Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences at the Università degli Studi di Torino in Torino, Italy published a study about the chemical compositions and quality of e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. The study used various analytical mass spectrometry (MS) methods to test for toxicity, including liquid chromatography-tandem MS “after a study of fragmentation pathways by high-resolution electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS.”
Benzene and Teledyne Tekmar
Benzene detection has been a frequent topic here at Teledyne Tekmar. In October 2013, we published an Application Note: “Achieving Low-Level Detection of Benzene in Beverages with an Automated Headspace Vial Sampler” and an accompanying webinar “Benzene in Beverages - How Low Can We Go” (to view the webinar, please click the button at the bottom of this blog).
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.
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.
Part of developing new and relevant applications is staying on top of current events, which can mean reading through a lot of news articles. The one topic we run into most often, especially recently here in Ohio, is hydraulic fracturing. Recently, the governor of Ohio announced increased fees for dumping wastewaters associated with hydraulic fracturing from out of state sources. All implications are that these drilling activities will have a national as well as global impact, as evident by this map of the shale gas plays in North America.
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.