GE Analytical Instruments

Application notes: TOC analysis in a chemical laboratory


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What You Need to Know

Analytical laboratories in the chemical industry are routinely tasked with monitoring organics in water across a wide range of applications. For example, organic carbon analysis is being used to:

  • Monitor plant storm water and wastewater
  • Test for condensate system or boiler integrity
  • Enhance cooling and make-up water quality
  • Support water reuse
  • Optimize chemical manufacturing processes
  • Provide data for R&D projects
  • Validate online water quality monitors

The Challenge

The monitoring, control, and optimization of organics in these applications are generally done using the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) method. The challenge then becomes finding a robust TOC analyzer that can handle all samples ranging from clean steam condensate to highly contaminated brine solutions. With legacy TOC technologies, reliable analysis of these samples requires either extensive instrument maintenance or the purchase of multiple instruments dedicated to specific applications. With reductions in today’s laboratory budgets, neither option is ideal.

For these reasons, the industry has embraced Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) TOC technology,1 commercialized in the Sievers InnovOx TOC Analyzer. Labs can now analyze a wide range of samples on a single instrument with minimal maintenance and sample prep, leading to increased productivity.

Business Impact

Legacy analytical technologies have the potential to burden not only laboratory operating budgets, but also waste the laboratory’s most valuable resource: an analyst’s time. The ability to quickly and accurately measure TOC in all water matrices can lead to significant cost savings throughout the plant. Some examples where TOC measurement and control can have a positive business impact include:

  • Reduced use of water treatment chemicals
  • Decreased municipal water utility surcharges2
  • Early detection of coolant leaks into condensate and boiler equipment3
  • Lower environmental discharge regulatory risk
  • Increased product purity through measurement and control of carbon impurities

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