Quantitech recently organised a very popular seminar focusing on multiparameter gas detection for both ambient and stack monitoring applications. The event took place at Bletchley Park and drew a large audience from a wide variety of industries including construction, industrial controls, Environment Agency, education, research, consultancies, test houses, hospitals, police, DSTL, Health & Safety Laboratory, waste management and abatement equipment manufacturers.
The event was sponsored by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) manufacturer Gasmet and their Antti Heikkila delivered a detailed presentation that provided delegates with help and advice on how to maximise the performance of FTIR multiparameter gas analysers. He also explained the procedures for utilising validation gases, offering suggestions for ensuring accurate data whilst employing the minimal number of span gases.
Dr Marc Coleman from the National Physical Laboratory presented an overview of Technical Guidance Note M22, which covers the Environment Agency’s requirements when monitoring stack gas emissions using FTIR instruments. Requirements for annual and on-site instrument checks were described in addition to the spectroscopic criteria for selecting validation gases and the dependency upon the analytes to be monitored.
The delegates were split into two groups; one focusing on stack gas monitoring and the other on ambient monitoring applications, but both looking at ways to exploit the potential of FTIR. Quantitech’s Dr Andrew Hobson lead the ambient monitoring session in which he demonstrated the application of a portable FTIR instrument, the Gasmet DX4030, which has been chosen by the Government’s multi-agency air quality team for incident investigations.
The final presentation was given by Dominic Duggan who outlined some of the many applications for which FTIR is the ideal gas detection technology. In addition to stack gas and incident response, these included the analysis of combustion gases for product testing, health & safety investigations, vehicular emissions analysis, environmental research into underground emissions in the arctic, and research into emissions resulting from groundwater nitrate reduction.
Following the seminar, a tour of Bletchley Park ended a day that received unanimous approval by the delegates. Bruce Kester from Envirodat said: "This was an enjoyable event and it was useful to meet other professionals that use FTIR. We use the Gasmet equipment for difficult applications to investigate the components of gas mixtures – especially organic fractions. The analyser is fast and small and provides trends, so we find it very helpful."
Similarly, Ian Robertson from Analox found the presentations very interesting, adding: "FTIR technology may be useful in some of the specialist applications in which we are active."
Many of the delegates commended the choice of Bletchley Park as the location for the seminar because, having spent the day discussing modern (gas detection) technology, it was appropriate to be shown highly advanced technologies that were significantly ahead of their time during World War II.