Gas sensing

Gas Sensing Solutions Appoints Julian Hayes as new CEO

Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) has announced the appointment of Julian Hayes as chief executive officer, taking over from Calum MacGregor who is retiring after 14 years with the company.

Hayes comes with wealth of knowledge and expertise in helping develop high technology businesses, having previously worked at a number of UK and global semiconductor, laser optics and components businesses.  GSS is a global leader in the development of high-performance carbon dioxide sensors for demanding markets such as aerospace, healthcare and environmental monitoring.

The last 12 months have been particularly strong for Gas Sensing Solutions, having launched 3 new ultra-low products to market, which have been well received by tier 1 customers.  The company has also taken the strategic decision to offer customised solutions, allowing customers to optimise the use of its CO2 sensors for the target application.

Martin Reynard, Chairman of GSS said, “Julian brings significant expertise in helping take high technology businesses to a global audience.  His experience will be invaluable in maintaining the growth GSS has achieved recently.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Calum for his incalculable contribution to the development of GSS and creating the platform for growth.”

Julian Hayes, CEO of GSS said, “It is an exciting time to be joining Gas Sensing Solutions. The past few years has seen GSS establish itself as the company of choice for high performance CO2 sensors across the globe.  I look forward to working with the great team at GSS and helping drive revenue growth with our partners and customers.”

Perfecting heat treatment and endothermic processing

For iron and steel, one of the most common approaches for hardening these relatively soft materials is to perform heat treatment under endothermic atmospheres. There are many methods for heat-treating metal alloys, some of which include case-hardening or surface hardening and annealing, but the general purpose of the treatment is to help improve the durability or hardness of the material.

To achieve these improvements in the hardness properties for alloys, heat treatment involves several stages. These are generally divided into annealing, quenching, and tempering. Annealing involves first heating the metal to a given temperature for a certain length of time and afterward using a controlled rate of cooling. Quenching involves rapid temperature reduction of the material to make the alloy very hard. Often such hardness can lead to brittle materials, so tempering can be used to restore some of the elasticity.

Environmental Factors

Careful control of conditions throughout all of the stages of heat treatment is required for maximum control of the final material properties, including that of the surrounding environment. Using endothermic gases, such as CO, H2, and N2, is part of maintaining fine control of the heat treatment processes.

The purpose of the endothermic environment is to ensure the right environmental conditions for the hardening process. This helps ensure that the correct chemical reactions occur to preserve the desired physical properties of the metal. Such atmospheres can also be used as carrier gases for other species in processes such as carburizing or carbonitriding. Part of the hardening process involves the decomposition of the carbon-rich gases causes migration onto the surface layers of the metal.

As well as ensuring the correct concentrations of endothermic gases in heat treatment for their thermal properties, CO2 concentrations need to be controlled as excess CO2 levels can lead to unwanted oxidation reactions. O2 can also have similar effects on metals such as iron. It can also be advantageous to control excess CO levels, as it is often produced from side reactions between oxygen and hydrocarbon gases but can be involved in ‘carbon reversal’ processes that lead to the production of soot.

Process Control

For heat treatment in endothermic conditions, it is therefore imperative to have highly controlled and monitored gas concentrations, as well as a way of monitoring potential fluctuations in the concentrations that are reliable over a large temperature range.

Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensors are ideal for detection of a range of hydrocarbon gases and well suited for detection of many of the species involved in endothermic protection as they absorb IR light very strongly, making it a highly sensitive detection technique.

Furnace Sensors and Feedback

Edinburgh Sensors offers a range of gas monitors that are suitable for detecting one gas type at a time with built-in microcontroller processing to allow onboard corrections for changes in pressure and temperature conditions.

Suitable for detection of CH4, CO2, and CO, Edinburgh Sensors offers the GasCard NG and Guardian NG NDIR-based gas monitors. Both are highly sensitive monitors, capable of detecting CO2 concentrations between 0 – 5000 ppm and CH4 and CO levels between 0 – 100 %.

The Guardian NG offers an accuracy of ± 2 % across the full detection range and temperature compensation between 0 – 40 °C, while measurements are unaffected by humidity conditions in the 0 – 95 % relative humidity. The sensor is housed in an IP54 compliant casing which in addition comes with a convenient monitor for showing current and historical gas concentrations and built-in alarms that can be programmed directly on the device. The low response time (T90 < 30 s from sample inlet) means that the Guardian NG is ideal for providing continual monitoring and live feedback on even the smallest changes in conditions in the heat treatment chambers.

Casella’s VAPex Sampling Pump wins New Product of the Year award

Casella, air sampling, noise and vibration specialist, has won Occupational Health and Safety’s 2019 ‘New Product of the Year Award’ for its VAPex Personal Low Flow Sampling Pump.

Casella’s VAPex Personal Low Flow Sampling Pump was selected as the best new product in the Industrial Hygiene: Air Sampling category by a panel of three highly qualified judges.

Tim Turney, Global Marketing Manager at Casella, said “We’re thrilled that the VAPex has been recognised among this year’s best products by a publication as well regarded as Occupational Health & Safety. We’re proud that the user-focused features of the VAPex have put it ahead of other air samplers, following in the footsteps of our other award-winning products.”

The 11th edition of the annual awards program was highly competitive, as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) editor Sydny Shepard, explains: “OH&S’ ‘New Product of the Year Award’ saw an outstanding number of entries for 2019, proving that industry manufacturers are dedicated to producing products that optimise worker safety.”

To find out more about Casella’s full range of monitoring and sampling solutions, visit www.casellasolutions.com/uk/en.html

Biogas leakage – how to protect your AD plant from the silent killer

The UK’s anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has come a long way in a short space of time, growing by 350% in a decade to 648 operational facilities. Yet while many efficiency and health & safety advancements have been made across the industry in recent years, there remains room for improvement.


Identifying a biogas leak can prevent a serious incident from occurring

In particular, the issue of biogas leakage is one which many AD operators are still failing to address; often because the problem is invisible. However, the dangers associated with it – from diminished profits to environmental pollution and health & safety risks – should not be underestimated.

Here, Tim Elsome, General Manager for AD specialists FM BioEnergy, outlines the real cost of unidentified biogas leaks – and the inexpensive steps you can take to reduce the risks on your plant…

The scale of the problem

While most responsible plant operators will be monitoring key parameters such as temperature, digester biology and biogas production on a regular basis, the vast majority are not checking for gas leaks, believing it’s an issue which doesn’t affect their plant.

The evidence proves otherwise. Over the last eight years, 85% of the 964 plants we have surveyed in the UK and Germany were suffering from biogas leakage. A quarter of these were deemed ‘significant’ (>1,000l CH4/h), causing serious financial losses and safety concerns; half had only minor leakages (< 100l CH4/h); while the rest were deemed ‘medium’ (< 1,000l CH4/h). In most cases, more than one leakage type was present.

Translating this to the UK as a whole could mean that 550 plants are currently at risk; with 137 in danger of a serious financial or safety breach. Furthermore, if each of these 550 plants was to leak an average of just 0.5% of their capacity, it could equate to a potential loss of 37 GWhe-e a year, resulting in 6,000 tonnes of methane escaping into the atmosphere annually.

The risks of doing nothing

The implications of this volume of methane being released are significant. According to the latest IPCC Assessment Report, methane is 34 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas over a 100-year period. For any industry to be emitting this volume of methane would be a concern; but for a renewable sector, whose entire premise is based on being green, this is catastrophic.

A detection survey using a methane-sensitive monitor and laser, as well as infra-red devices, can spot biogas leaks invisible to the naked eye

Aside from the considerable environmental impact, biogas leaks bring other risks. In the worst-case scenario, biogas in combination with air can form an explosive gas mixture which, in a confined space near an ignition source, can result in explosion. While explosions are thankfully extremely rare, they bring a high risk of serious injuries and fatalities and, as a result, are something no plant owner ever wants to experience on their site.

Biogas also contains hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a toxic gas which has been the cause of a number of deaths in the UK agricultural industry in relation to slurry tank management. As H2S is heavier than air, it will fall to the ground. In confined, poorly-ventilated spaces it can accumulate and remain unnoticed until someone enters, resulting in sometimes fatal effects.

Gas leaks on AD plants also have a financial impact. Any volume of biogas leaking into the atmosphere will subsequently reduce a plant’s gas yield; and therefore, the owner’s profit margin. In fact, losing just 1m3 of methane per hour will result in a financial loss in the region of £5,000 per year.

There is also the issue of sustainability criteria to consider. In order to receive payments through either the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) or Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes, AD operators must demonstrate that their plant is operating sustainably. Regulators have considered clamping down on this area, as some industry reports mention very high levels of fugitive emissions. Site operators can therefore use gas leakage surveys as a way to protect against potential loss of incentives and demonstrate to the authorities that their plant is well-managed, with leaks kept to a minimum.

Leakage hotspots

While an AD operator may believe that their plant is operating at a high standard, all anaerobic digesters have inherent weak points which make them susceptible to biogas leakage. Potential hotspots include:

  • Gas membrane connections;
  • Cable grommets (where a submersible stirrer cable passes through the digester wall);
  • Flange connections;
  • Viewing windows;
  • Carbon filters;
  • Any areas where maintenance is carried out.

Reducing your risk

The risks of gas leakage are clearly significant and often expensive. However, identifying a leak is a simple and affordable process which can help prevent a serious incident from occurring. A gas leakage detection service should therefore form part of any responsible plant operator’s ongoing maintenance programme.

For example, the FM BioEnergy service covers a full AD plant survey with a methane-sensitive monitor and laser, as well as infra-red devices, including:

  • Survey of all tanks, CHP, biogas upgrading equipment, roof membranes, pipes and flanges;
  • Analysis of emissions from CHP and double-membrane covers;
  • Report with images, videos and repair priority table.

While the majority of our audits to date have uncovered minor leaks, 25% were found to have serious failings; fixing these not only prevents a more serious and costly incident from occurring, it often results in a 12-month payback on the price of the survey.

The best times to conduct a detection survey are at the start of full operation; after significant maintenance work; if your feed-to-gas conversion is lower than expected (and the biology remains stable); and of course, if you can smell biogas. After all, the cost of detecting a potential leak is minimal but the implications of leaving it to chance could be massive.

FLIR Systems completes strategic investment for quantifying gas emissions

FLIR Systems has made a strategic investment in Providence Photonics, developers of advanced software used to quantify invisible gas emissions using FLIR Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras.

Providence Photonics specializes in the development and utilization of advanced technology in the field of optical gas imaging while tackling some of the industry’s most challenging environmental and safety problems. Using patented technology, advanced computer vision techniques, and state-of-the-art infrared imagers, they create solutions for several applications, including leak quantification, leak survey validation, autonomous remote leak detection, and flare combustion efficiency monitoring.

As part of the strategic investment, FLIR will gain exclusive access to certain elements of Providence Photonics’ intellectual property, while helping to expand FLIR Systems’ set of offerings to its oil and gas industry customers. The companies will work to deploy Providence Photonics’ quantification algorithms in current and future FLIR OGI cameras and digital services.

“Our investment in Providence Photonics represents another example of our evolution from solely being a leading sensor company to one that adds decision support to create intelligent sensing solutions,” said Frank Pennisi, President of the Industrial Business Unit at FLIR. “This investment enables to us to better serve our existing Oil and Gas industry customers who rely on our optical gas imaging technology to improve efficiency and safety, while ensuring compliance with methane mitigation regulations.”

Casella’s VAPex Sampling Pump wins New Product of the Year award

Casella, air sampling, noise and vibration specialist, has won Occupational Health and Safety’s 2019 ‘New Product of the Year Award’ for its VAPex Personal Low Flow Sampling Pump.

Casella’s VAPex Personal Low Flow Sampling Pump was selected as the best new product in the Industrial Hygiene: Air Sampling category by a panel of three highly qualified judges.

Tim Turney, Global Marketing Manager at Casella, said “We’re thrilled that the VAPex has been recognised among this year’s best products by a publication as well regarded as Occupational Health & Safety. We’re proud that the user-focused features of the VAPex have put it ahead of other air samplers, following in the footsteps of our other award-winning products.”

The 11th edition of the annual awards program was highly competitive, as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) editor Sydny Shepard, explains: “OH&S’ ‘New Product of the Year Award’ saw an outstanding number of entries for 2019, proving that industry manufacturers are dedicated to producing products that optimise worker safety.”

To find out more about Casella’s full range of monitoring and sampling solutions, visit www.casellasolutions.com/uk/en.html

Ready for Lead-free Gas Sensors?

All gas sensor users should be aware of the changes covered by the Restrictions on the Use of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) Directive (2011/65/EU), which covers the restrictions of six highly toxic materials (lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)) in electrical equipment.

Shawcity Ltd is an EMEA strategic channel partner for City Technology, one of the world’s leading manufacturers in gas sensing technology. City Technology gas sensors come under three categories:

Cat 8: Medical devices (all MOX sensors) – Came into scope 22 July 2014.
Cat 9: Monitoring and Control devices (Ecosure sensors) – Came into scope 22 July 2014.
Cat 9: Industrial monitoring and control devices (all other City Technology sensors) – Came into scope 22 July 2017.

The only exemption which applies to these sensors is the use of lead anodes in electrochemical oxygen sensors. This exemption is valid for seven years from the dates listed above.

For any gas sensor users, this means that all instruments using O2 electrochemical sensors which use an electrolyte containing lead or with a lead anode will no longer meet the ROHS requirements once the seven-year deadline of July 2024 is reached.

Lead-free 4OxLL and 5OxLL Oxygen Sensors

We offer two long-life oxygen sensor formats which are designed to work in an analyser for seven years, the entire life of the instrument. Available in 4 and 5 series formats, they offer an enhanced response time in extreme conditions.

Based on “electrochemical pump” technology, the design avoids using a consumable anode (lead), so removing the life-limiting component of many sensors. This technology significantly reduces the cost of ownership and the occurrence of field failure, helping manufacturers reduce their servicing costs as well as achieving ROHS compliance ahead of the deadline.

In terms of performance, the lead-free sensors offer fast response and recovery times with T90 <15sec, as well as an O2 offset <0.3%. They are also highly stable, with a <5% signal loss over lifetime.

With over 300 high performance sensor products detecting 28 common and exotic gases, Shawcity’s range includes 3, 4, 5 and 7 Series, MICROcel, MICROpel and Sensoric sensors. With our high-performance sensors used across various applications, we work closely with businesses and organisations operating in fields as diverse as medical, metal processing, chemical, automotive, agriculture, pharmaceutical, textiles, water & waste water treatment, mining, pulp & paper processing, gas detection/monitoring manufacturers, petrochemical, utilities and R&D institutes, including leading universities.

Our range offers detection for the following gases:

Ammonia, Arsine, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Chlorine, Chlorine Dioxide, Diborane, Ethylene Oxide, Fluorine, Hydrazine, Hydrogen, Hydrogen Bromide, Hydrogen Chloride, Hydrogen Cyanide, Hydrogen Fluoride, Hydrogen Selenide, Hydrogen Sulphide, Mercaptan, Nitric Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Oxygen, Ozone, Phosgene, Phosphine, Silane, Sulphur Dioxide, Tetrahydrothiophene, Combustibles, Exhaust Gases and General Air Quality.

Shawcity’s customer base stretches across the entire EMEA region catering for companies of all sizes and specialisms. We understand requirements within the industry and offer:

  • Advice for R&D and start-up projects
  • One-offs and sample sensor orders
  • Account support for quantity breaks
  • A range of stock available for immediate dispatch.

At Sensors & Instrumentation 2019 we will be showcasing City Technology’s latest long-life oxygen and carbon monoxide sensors on Stand 57, as part of our extensive range. Visit our team on the stand for advice on lead-free O2 sensors or any other sensor information.

solutions@shawcity.co.uk

01367 899420

www.shawcity.co.uk/sensorrange.

Ion Science on target to achieve £20 million turnover in 30th anniversary year

In line with its 30 per cent year-on-year growth objective, Cambridge-based Ion Science is celebrating 30 years by announcing it is on target to achieve £20 million turnover in 2019. Increasing global awareness of the need to monitor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for indoor and outdoor air quality continues to drive demand for the company’s high performance photoionisation detectors (PIDs).

Ion Science’s managing director Duncan Johns

Further underlining its position as the world’s largest manufacturer of VOC monitors, Ion Science, which has subsidiary offices in France, Italy, Germany, India, China and the USA, is also reporting that April 2019 was a record month for the business with an unprecedented £1.3 million turnover, largely due to an order for 180 of its popular Tiger handheld instruments.  The company has also benefitted from sales growth across Scandanavia and the Far East.

“There is no doubt that widening recognition of the damaging effects of VOCs on health and the environment continues to fuel our growth,” comments Ion Science Managing Director, Duncan Johns. “It means that more companies are seeking well-designed, robust and reliable gas detection instruments for ensuring the safety of employees and the wider community.

“As a technology led business, it is imperative we continue to move forward and push boundaries, which has been demonstrated by considerable investment in strategically located subsidiary offices in Europe and the Rest-of-the-World, as well as the expansion of our MiniPID sensor range, with a focus on indoor air quality applications.

“Despite being established for 30 years, we are proud that our philosophies, core values and vision are the same as ever, that we are committed to developing market leading, cost effective and efficient sensing devices for end users across the world.”

Ion Science was responsible for developing the world’s first truly field worthy and accurate PID detector which was patented in 1998. In 2000, it launched the PhoCheck 5000EX which was its first PID instrument designed to detect VOCs down to ppb levels and the range of hydrosteel corrosion monitors that continue to be the world’s premium hydrogen flux monitors used primarily in petrochemical streams.

Responding to its growing experience of worldwide PID applications, the company took out a global patent on its advanced PID Fence Electrode technology in 2002, which enabled VOC measurement in contaminated, hot and humid atmospheres.

The serviceability and robustness of the PID using the Fence Electrode was enhanced by the in-house manufacture of a miniaturised PID (MiniPID), as incorporated in the Tiger series and other PID instruments.

In 2007, Ion Science acquired a mercury vapour detector (MVI) which is ideally suited to chemical and petrochemical markets.

Since then, the company has dedicated considerable resources to selective PID measurements within the petrochemical industries, such as the Tiger Select.

Another key milestone for Ion Science was the move into a new state-of-the-art £4.5 million, 1500m² facility in autumn 2017. Located in the village of Fowlmere in Cambridgeshire, the head office building was designed to meet current and short-term needs, as well as reflect the on-going ambitions of the business.

The role of gas sensing as a drinking water purification method

The processing of clean and safe drinking water and drinking water purification methods are an international issue. Estimates suggest that, if no further improvements are made to the availability of safe water sources, over 135 million people will die from potentially preventable diseases by 2020.

Even within the UK, water purification and treatment is big business, with £2.1 billion being invested by utilities in England and Wales between 2013 and 2014. Water purification consists of removing undesirable chemicals, bacteria, solids and gases from water, so that it is safe to drink and use. The standard of purified water varies depending on the intended purpose of the water, for example, water used for fine chemical synthesis may need to be ‘cleaner’ i.e. have fewer chemicals present, than is tolerable for drinking water, the most common use of purified water.

Water Purification Method

Water purification methods involve many different steps. The first step, once the water has been piped to the purification plant, is filtering to remove any large debris and solids.  There also needs to be an assessment of how dirty the water is to design the purification strategy. Some pretreatment may also occur using carbon dioxide to change pH levels and clean up the wastewater to some extent. Here, gas monitors are used to ensure the correct gas levels are being added to the water and unsafe levels of the gas do not build up.

The following steps include chemical treatment, an filtration to remove dissolved ionic compounds. Then, disinfection can occur to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses, with additional chemicals being added to provide longer lasting protection. At all stages, the water quality must be constantly monitored. This is to ensure that any pollutants have been adequately removed and the water is safe for its intended purpose.

In-line gas monitors are often used as part of the water treatment process as a way of monitoring total organic carbon (TOC) content. Carbon content in water can arise from a variety of sources, including bacteria, plastics or sediments that have not been successfully removed by the filtration process. TOC is a useful proxy for water cleanliness as it covers contamination from a variety of different sources.

To use non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas monitors to analyse the TOC content of water, a few extra chemical reactions and vaporisation need to be performed to cause the release of CO2­ gas. The resulting concentration of gas can then be used as a proxy of TOC levels. This then provides a metric than can be used to determine whether additional purification is required or that the water is safe for use.

Need for Gas Monitors in the Water Purification Process

NDIR gas sensors can be used as both a safety device in the water purification process as carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide are some of the key gases produced during the treatment process.  The other key use is for analysis of TOC content as a way of checking for water purity. NDIR sensors are particularly well suited for TOC analysis as carbon dioxide absorbs infrared light very strongly. This means that even very low carbon dioxide concentrations can be detected easily, making it a highly sensitive measurement approach. Other hydrocarbon gases can also easily be detected in this way, making NDIR sensors a highly flexible, adaptable approach to monitoring TOC and dissolved gas content in water.

Sensor Solutions

The need for constant gas monitoring to guide and refine the purification process during wastewater treatment means water purification plants need permanent, easy to install sensors that are capable of continual online monitoring. One of the most effective ways of doing this is having OEM sensors that can be integrated into existing water testing equipment to also provide information on water purity.

These reasons are why Edinburgh Sensors range of nondispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensors are the perfect solution for water purification plants. NDIR sensors are highly robust with excellent sensitivity and accuracy across a range of gas concentrations. Two of the sensors they offer, the Gascard NG and the Guardian NG ­­­­are suitable for detecting carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or other hydrocarbon gases. If just carbon dioxide is of interest, then Edinburgh Sensors offers are more extensive range of monitors, including the Gascheck and the IRgaskiT.

The advantage of NDIR detection for these gases are the device initial warm-up times are less than 1 minute, in the case of the Guardian NG. It is also capable of 0 – 100 % measurements such gases with a response time of less than 30 seconds from the sample inlet. The readout is ± 2 % accurate and all these sensors maintain this accuracy over even challenging environmental conditions of 0 – 95 % humidity, with self-compensating readout.

The Guardian NG comes with its own readout and menu display for ease of use and simply requires a reference gas and power supply to get running. For water purification purposes, the Gascard is particularly popular as the card-based device is easy to integrate into existing water testing equipment so testing of gases can occur while checking purity.

Edinburgh Sensors also offers custom gas sensing solutions and their full technical support throughout the sales, installation and maintenance process.

Gas Sensors for Water Purification

Edinburgh Sensors has a range of Gas Sensors suitable for the water purification process. View our range of gas sensors and for further information please contact us. We would be delighted to be of assistance.

Ninewells Hospital chooses ION Science Tiger VOC detector for use within assisted conception unit

The Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee has purchased an ION Science Tiger handheld volatile organic compound (VOC) detector in adherence with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFEA) regulations for air quality in tissue laboratories and to ensure optimum culture conditions for embryos. This follows an independent external review that recommended the facility upgrade to a more sensitive photoionisation detector (PID) that measured VOC levels in parts per billion (ppb).

Established in 1984, the Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital is one of the oldest IVF facilities in the UK. It performs numerous investigations to ascertain why couples are not getting pregnant naturally and try to overcome fertility issues to achieve a pregnancy. Every year it has an average of 400 cycles of IVF and ICSI, and a further 250 cycles utilising previously frozen embryos.

With even low levels of VOCs potentially affecting embryo development, the Ninewells Hospital’s Assisted Conception Unit regularly monitors VOCs in its laboratories to minimise contaminants, maintain the best possible conditions and help ensure successful IVF outcomes.

In the UK, assisted reproduction is regulated and governed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Philip Milne from the Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital explains: “The aim of the HFEA regulation is to implement standards of air quality in laboratories where tissues are prepared for use in humans, including assisted conception facilities. Part of this is measuring and maintaining the air found in tissue laboratories with particle and microbial counts being done on a regular basis.”

Human embryos are very sensitive to the environment and although the incubators offer a relatively clean area for culture, sperm, eggs and embryos have to be handled and processed within the laboratory, exposing them to harmful VOCs which can impact embryo development. Whilst most Assisted Conception Units will have air purification technology or HEPA filters, these do not eliminate VOCs.

As a result, the Assisted Conception Unit uses a PID to monitor VOC levels within its laboratory. However, the facility’s previous VOC instrument measured in parts per million (ppm) but an independent external review recommended it was replaced with a more sensitive ppb instrument like the ION Science Tiger which is able to detect very low levels of VOCs.

Offering a robust and reliable design, the well proven ION Science Tiger boasts a market leading measurement range of 1 ppb to 20,000 ppm. It is easy to set up and provides advanced VOC detection and software features. It also provides a response time of just two seconds and can be connected directly to a PC via the USB offering rapid data download capabilities.

Like all ION Science instruments, the Tiger incorporates the company’s latest MiniPID sensor and patented fence electrode technology for increased resistance to humidity and contamination.

Philip continues: “We needed a cost effective VOC instrument that was accurate, repeatable and user-friendly as our older one was cumbersome and difficult to use. The ION Science Tiger, purchased from Shawcity, fitted our ergonomic requirement whilst providing an affordable and reliable replacement.

“Regular monitoring of our laboratory’s air quality with the ION Science Tiger has shown very low levels of VOCs. With major building work taking place outside the air intakes from our laboratory, the use of the instrument is even more critical to maintaining those levels.

“We have been very pleased with the ION Science Tiger to date and would not hesitate to recommend it to other facilities,” he concludes.