FTIR testing has been around a long time and a service Innovatech Labs has been offering to customers for nearly 20 years. A new facet of FTIR testing is the use of portable FTIR gas analyzers. This device is employed by some companies for use in battlefield chemical warfare agent analysis, civilian hazardous event response, industrial stack monitoring and analyses in our ports and airports for security purposes.
Chemical spills, emissions monitoring, contaminated land, toxic smoke, and testing of cargo containers are just a few of the applications where on-site FTIR analysis is vital to the health and safety of industrial workers and first responders.
Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) are all part of our “advanced” society. The availability of a portable FTIR gas analyzer that mimics precisely the on-line version means that testers have an effective backup system, so that they don’t have to worry about loss of data or can provide a rapid response in a health, safety or environmental emergency.
Improving Air Quality On Site
It’s possible to measure emissions and make adjustments at a power station, for example, that meet or exceed compliance regulations thus improving occupational safety and environmental health. Having a portable backup system identical to the fixed installation means the facility manager could swap out monitoring systems or move the system to another station, if necessary.
By using a portable FTIR gas analyzer, the power station benefits from higher levels of accuracy and lower levels of maintenance as a result of continuous calibration. In addition, the cost of new monitoring equipment is small when compared to the cost of new abatement equipment that would reduce particulates, acid and other gases. The convenience of portability is an added bonus.
Detecting Hazardous Gases Quickly
Consider that shipping companies fumigate cargo containers, wooden packing materials and foodstuffs to control the spread of pests and micro-organisms. Fumigant gases are toxic so containers are monitored on arrival at each new port or destination for health and safety purposes.
In addition, products shipped in containers can release VOCs from solvents and glues used in the manufacturing process, and their concentration may accumulate in the confined space of a container.
While FTIR testing offers major advantages over portable monitoring technologies because of its specificity and lower susceptibility to interference gases, from a safety perspective, it’s extremely important to be able to detect hazardous gases as quickly as possible.
Looking at the value of FTIR from a security angle, the ability to measure TICs and CWAs is a considerable added benefit. By avoiding the cost of laboratory analysis, operational costs are reduced considerably, as well.
FTIR That Fits in a Backpack
A portable FTIR gas analyzer can detect, identify and measure up to 25 compounds. The collection of a complete sample spectrum means that over 250 compounds can be analyzed simultaneously and within seconds of startup. The portable analyzer provides laboratory grade analysis in a field instrument that our grandfathers could only dream about. Today, it’s a reality.
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