VOC Technologies

Pneumatic Focusing Gas Chromatography (PFGC)


Pneumatic Focusing Gas Chromatography (PFGC) uses a novel sampling method that has been integrated into a gas chromatograph to allow ultra-sensitive detection of trace gas pollutants at the parts per trillion (ppt) level. PFGC has fully-automated sampling and requires little human intervention. PFGC is rugged, portable and can be configured to sample from hourly to 100's of times a day. With the resolving power of 40+ gas-phase species, PFGC has a lower detection limit than any on-line instrument on the market and therefore has the ability to quantitate species that are below the detection limit of current instrumentation. Our automation allows PFGC to be in operation 24 hours a day 7 days a week at a lower cost than any other air quality analysis instrument. Data is continuously availaible on-line, over any internet connection.

Our PFGCs have operated continuously for years, analyzing over 15,000 air quality samples annually, at several locations in the United States.

Pneumatic focusing gas chromatography (PFGC, patented*) is a continuous, specialized monitor for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), ozone precursors, and other air toxics.  PFGC compresses an air sample of 1-1000 cc to pressures in the range of 300-1000 psi (20 to 60 atm) before injecting it onto the column of a specialized gas chromatograph, also maintained at high pressure. Pressurization serves to concentrate the sample, thereby increasing sensitivity; remove water vapor by condensation; and allow ease of automation. 30-50 VOCs are routinely measured to 50 parts0-per-trillion sensitivity

PFGC is a direct sampling method, which allows for minimal sample loss or interference in the focusing procedure, often not the case in canister and adsorbent sampling systems. Our commercial PFGCs are constructed entirely inside a standard computer case.  Furthermore, the GC-in-a-PC is fully web compatible for instrument operation, training, troubleshooting; data display or download; anywhere, through any standard Internet or cell phone connection.

Pneumatic Focusing Gas Chromatography (PFGC) has many applications including its original design for continuous monitoring of outdoor air pollution.

PFGC has unprecedented capabilities:

  • tracking down emission sources
  • outdoor emissions monitoring
  • plant/facility perimeter monitoring
  • pesticide/herbicide drift analysis
  • indoor air quality
  • OSHA exposure monitoring

Due to its innovation, PFGC has been chosen for ambient air emission monitoring for
  • US superfund sites
  • ambient air toxics
  • ozone precursors
  • public areas (e.g., schools)
  • or specific locations (both outdoor and indoor vapor intrusion)

to address possible exposure risk to residents, workers, especially for the most sensitive and vulnerable subpopulations (e.g., elderly, children, schools).

Real-time 1-day record of 15 PFGC Chromatograms

  • No sample handling
  • No storage
  • No adsorbents
  • No cryogens
  • Continuous operation with monthly gas cylinder replacement, automatic calibration
  • High sensitivity & precision; low detection limit, (e.g., 50 ppt for benzene, toluene, PCE, etc.)
  • On-line software training and trouble shooting
  • Cost-effective and competitive pricing

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