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Posts Tagged ‘gas chromatograph’

Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) Measurement for LEED/Green Building Evaluation

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

LEED Testing


Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) may be evaluated when building designers/managers are pursuing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System for New Construction (LEED-NC) EQ Credit 3.2. The latest LEED-NC guidance document specifies that the maximum allowed concentration of TVOC measured in a building (post construction, pre-occupancy) is 500 µg/m3; the guidance also mentions using the sampling/analytical methods in the US EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air. However, none of these sampling and analytical methods address TVOC in particular, and thus the existing methods must be modified. In addition, TVOC is not defined (in terms of boiling point range, etc.) in the latest LEED-NC guidance and therefore is left open for interpretation; historically, many definitions of “TVOC” exist in literature.

For TVOC measurement, the analytical technique used must always reference one compound for calibration purposes. All compounds detected are then assumed to have the same response factor as the calibration compound. For instance, handheld instruments are most often calibrated using isobutylene or methane, and laboratory-based methods may reference TVOC as hexane (C6), toluene, or some other chemical species.

In practice, indoor air quality practitioners may use several different techniques for evaluating TVOC in buildings. Each sampling & analytical method has its own benefits and drawbacks, cost implications, and applicability.


Testing for Trihalomethanes in Your Water (TTHM)

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Swimming in chlorinated waterChlorine has been used to disinfect water for almost a century due to its ability to kill bacteria and viruses in water. The use of chlorine as a disinfectant has been an effective contribution to public health eliminating plagues such as cholera and typhoid, and reducing the incidence of intestinal illness and other health problems caused by waterborne pathogens such as cryptosporidium. The benefits of disinfection, however, do not come without an effect.


GC/MS-Full Scan vs GC/MS-SIM

Friday, February 15th, 2008

GC-MS-Full-Scan-vs-GC-MS-SIMIf you’ve had your laboratory run low-level polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or other low level analyses, chances are you have heard of Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy- Selective Ion Monitoring (GC/MS-SIM). Over the years clients have asked us “What’s the difference between GC/MS-Full Scan and GC/MS-SIM?” To address this question we must start with the basics. (For our example we will be talking about a standard quadrupole mass spectrometer using electron ionization.)

GC/MS is an instrumental analytical technique comprised of a gas chromatograph and a mass spectrometer. In general, the GC is used to separate complex chemical mixtures into individual components. Once separated, the chemicals can be identified and quantified by the mass spectrometer.