In most of the industrialized countries worldwide, increasingly stringent environmental regulations require the continuous reduction of a wide range of emission sources and components. Despite local variations concerning concentrations, absolute emission quantity, target priorities and timetables, regulations typically require active compliance and proof thereof. The impact of more stringent regulation requires, in addition to point source, frequent area monitoring of target constituents. Whereas point source measurements can determine emission quantities precisely, they can only take care of major emission sources and cannot determine the impact and accumulated quantity of emission of minor sources. Area monitoring is used to determine concentrations of specific constituents and, together with meteorological parameters and models, in an attempt to predict total quantity released. Area monitoring can be utilized around specific plant areas, at selected locations of industrialized or populated areas or at certain geographical strategic points.
One of the possible analytical techniques used for ambient air monitoring is gas chromatography. The described analytical system is based on a process gas chromatographic technique utilizing automatic and continuous sample enrichment and general or selective trace detectors. In using this technique, multiple constituents can be determined automatically and continuously down to sensitivity levels of frequently less than 1 ppb.
This paper describes the possibilities and analytical configuration, discussing results concerning sensitivity and stability, as well as maintenance involved using a specific application.
Area monitoring of specific ppb-level constituents utilizing process gas chromatography