Photovac, Inc.

A Portable High Speed Gas Chromatograph for Field Monitoring

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Courtesy of Photovac, Inc.

Over the last two decades a variety of portable or transportable gas chromatographs (GC) have been specifically designed for field use. Each instrument has introduced innovations that have simplified the task of on site air monitoring. Portable instrument users are well aware of the advantages of field sampling. These advantages include more representative results because there is no sample degradation during transport and rapid answers because results are available almost immediately. Results at the field site allow the user to revise their sampling strategy in real time to possibly complete the sampling more efficiently and at a lower cost. In the case of a hazmat incident, rapid results can be crucial in determining the extent of a potential health hazard.

Naturally the lighter, faster, and more sensitive a field portable instrument is, the more beneficial this is for the end user. A portable instrument must be ergonomically designed for comfortable transport by a wide variety of users. High speed analysis is important because it increases the number of samples that can be taken over the course of a day which can help better define the boundaries of contamination. Low detection limits can also help accurately delineate the edges of a contamination plume.

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