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In-Situ Detection and Measurement of Volatile Organic Carbon in Water

Technology Overview

Many online VOC detectors do not measure VOC content in water accurately due to the large diversity in properties of these compounds. Methods relying on stripping and then measuring VOCs in gas phase alone is inaccurate (e.g. gas stripping and membrane pervaporation) as many VOC molecules have some polarity and hence affinity to water. This unique approach measures VOCs in water directly using high temperature catalysis (similar to Total Organic Compounds analysis) after excluding longer chain carbon molecules via a specially configured polymer membrane setup. When complimented with gas sparging, this method detects the full range of VOCs present in water in contrast to the partial measurement offered by other methods.

The innovative technology comprises of a process to capture a wide range of VOCs using both sparging and membrane filtration which is oxidized directly by high temperature catalysis to produce carbon dioxide. The CO2 will be quantified by a non-dispersive infrared detector. 

Technology Features & Specifications

Employing a dual approach, VOCs in water are first stripped from water using an inert gas. Then the water sample which may still contain many types of VOCs which are miscible or semi-miscible in water (therefore making it hard to be stripped into gas phase) is passed through a polymer membrane. This membrane is configured to separate these VOCs from longer chain organic compounds. The VOCs from both channels are then converted to CO2 via high temperature catalysis and measured with an IR detector. 

The technology has the following features:

  • Dual VOC capture method
  • Direct sample oxidation using catalyst
  • Physical filtration to remove large molecular weight organic compounds and other suspended solids
  • Detection using NDIR 

Potential Applications

  • Point-of-entry detection of VOC contamination
  • Can be installed at strategic points along the sewer network to pinpoint sources of sudden VOC discharges into the sewer

Market Trends and Opportunities

  • Petrochemical industries
  • Chemical Industries
  • Semiconductor industries
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Epidemiologists and exposure science professionals
  • Environmental monitoring

Customer Benefits

  • A mobile system
  • Allows in situ online detection and measurement of real VOC content in water

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