Automated analysis of VOCs in canister samples

AN INVALUABLE tool for the measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air samples contained in canisters, well suited to EPA Method TO-15, is how Markes International describes its new instrument, the CIA Advantage.

The CIA Advantage - CIA being canister interface accessory - from Markes International

Sample canisters are widely used in ambient air analysis, but are now also being used for other applications such as vapour intrusion and soil gas studies. As a result, air monitoring systems need to be able to cope with a wider range of sample concentrations. Markes says the CIA Advantage does just this, on a single analytical system.

Why is it called the CIA Advantage? Does the name imply some sort of endorsement from the Chemical Industries Association, or even the Central Intelligence Agency? The answer is rather more mundane, confirms Markes’s marketing manager Gavin Davies. In this instance, CIA stands for nothing more exotic than ‘canister interface accessory’.

The device can accommodate up to 27 canisters of various sizes, and eliminates the need for expensive cryogens. Internal lines are heated, to prevent sample cross-contamination, and a patented system prevents ice formation – a frustration encountered by some users of EPA Method TO-15.

“The CIA Advantage can analyse samples with a wide range of analyte concentrations, with the utmost confidence” says Matthew Bates, product manager at Markes International.  An added benefit is the inbuilt capacity to handle sorbent tubes. This, says Bates, “extends the range of compounds that can be analysed, allowing laboratories to offer the widest possible range of air-monitoring services”.

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