• Mercury in ambient air, workroom air and stack gas applications

Environmental Laboratory

Mercury in ambient air, workroom air and stack gas applications

Jan 20 2020

Currently the monitoring of mercury in ambient air is not extensive due to the limited number of monitoring sites around the globe and the often expensive nature of such systems. To address these issues P S Analytical (PSA) has employed traditional gold on silica Amasil adsorption tubes designed for ambient air passive samplers. This approach offers a simple, maintenance free and cost-effective sampling solution for Hg in air determinations from countless locations. After passive sample collection (a few days to a few months) these Amasil tubes are returned to a centralised laboratory for thermal desorption of the trapped Hg and analysis by Atomic Fluorescence Spectroscopy (AFS).

The versatile design of the Amasil tube holder allows for easy mounting to surfaces, such as pipes, walls and trees. This in turn allows for deployment of the passive samplers in many terrains and allows for analysis of ambient air from many environments previously unreachable by monitoring systems. Each holder is designed to hold 3 traps for better accuracy and precision. These sampling tubes may be reused and redeployed, making this approach much more affordable and widespread than previously available systems.

Workroom air monitoring requires a different sampling approach. There is often the potential of high concentrations of mercury vapour in localised areas, e.g. during Hg recovery/recycling or in manufacturing processes. Real time results are required to protect workers from potential Hg vapour exposure. PSA’s approach here is for the workroom air to be pumped to a central AFS instrument. Multi-stream (room/area) monitoring is therefore easily achieved, offering early warning alarms should set limits be breached for any part of the process. These systems are far superior to traditional sniffer devices which are dependent upon temporal manual sampling and cannot be relied on to capture all possible Hg exposure issues.

Currently many countries are developing and enforcing new mandatory Hg monitoring standards from stack emissions for compliance reasons. Typical industries affected include; coal fired power, cement manufacture, smelting operations and the like. Here a heated coated sample probe takes a volume of stack gas, dilutes and removes interferences before carrying it to the AFS analyser for Hg determination. PSA’s Hg-CEMS analyser is more popular than ever and is often deployed in conjunction with more traditional stack gas monitors.

For well over 30 years and in common with all our technology PSA employs AFS as our central analytical technology. AFS offers leading performance in terms of; sensitivity, working ranges and freedom from interferences. These attributes combined with our novel sampling systems, our hallmarked robustness and ease of use make PSA your first choice for mercury determinations.

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