Wednesday 10 February 2010

Gas analyser radically enhances safety & security

Quantitech is to demonstrate a highly advanced portable gas analyser at Counter Terror Expo 2010 (14/15 April 2010) - the Gasmet Dx-4030.

Employing FTIR technology, the analyser is already helping professional investigations in a wide variety of applications including those for which it is not possible to determine, in advance, the gases that are likely to be encountered.

The instrument is the World’s first truly portable FTIR multicomponent gas analyser, enabling operators to measure multiple components simultaneously, including Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs), Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) and almost anything else.

In the past, field-use instruments for the detection of toxic gases have sacrificed analytical performance for the sake of usability. As a result, many portable instruments have merely provided data that is indicative and non-specific, whereas analytical instruments have been difficult or impossible to operate in the field.

The Dx-4030 is able to measure any organic or inorganic gas with the exception of diatomic gases (O2, N2, etc), noble or inert gases, and H2S.

Quantitech’s Dr Andrew Hobson, said: “The unique Dx-4030 provides accurate real-time multi-gas analysis within seconds of powering up; it is ideal for emergency response to any situation that calls for rapid reliable gas analysis. The robust battery powered back-pack system can be operated without the need for specialist training and analysis of saved infrared sample spectra allows result validation and unknown gas identification."

An example of the applications for which the Dx-4030 can be employed is the testing of cargo containers at ports and airports. Cargo containers, wooden packing materials and foodstuffs are fumigated by shipping companies to control the spread of pests and micro-organisms. Fumigant gases are toxic and containers are therefore monitored for health and safety purposes on arrival at each new port or destination. In addition, products shipped in containers can release VOCs from solvents and glues used in the manufacturing process, and their concentration may accumulate in the confined space of a container.

Dr Hobson explains: "Existing portable instruments are limited in the range of parameters that they are able to measure, so it is often necessary to take grab samples for subsequent laboratory analysis. In contrast, the DX4030 portable analyser is uniquely able to measure almost anything, providing fast measurements for customs inspectors and shipping company staff."

FTIR offers major advantages over other techniques because of its specificity and lower susceptibility to interference gases, however Dr Hobson says, “From an occupational safety perspective, it is extremely important to be able to detect hazardous gases as quickly as possible and by avoiding the cost of laboratory analysis, operational costs are reduced considerably.
"From a security perspective, the ability to measure TICs and CWAs with a portable instrument offers enormous advantages over traditional techniques."

Visitors to 'Counter Terror 2010' at Olympia, London on April 14-15, can view the DX4030 in action on the Quantitech stand (A40).

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