Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.

– John F. Kennedy

Air and Gas Testing

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium

Air and natural gas measurements for total mercury at trace levels are critical for evaluating health and safety risks, as well as monitoring anthropogenic emissions in the environment. Whether it is testing ambient air at a high profile demolition site or the dangerous gases emitted from a landfill, Brooks Applied Labs has the experience needed for your next air & gas testing project!

We offer some of the lowest detection limits commercially available for testing air and gas samples for total mercury. Our typical reporting levels for mercury in air and gas samples are listed below:

•   Hg on iodated carbon (IC) traps: 2 ng/trap

•   Hg on gold sand traps: 0.025 ng/trap

There are several methods that Brooks Applied Labs employs for mercury analysis of air and natural gas. Our professional and dedicated staff will work with you to determine the best method for your project. Note: All air & gas testing methods require the use of traps, which can be purchased from our sister company, Brooks Rand Instruments, at their online store.

EPA Air & Gas Testing Methods


EPA Method 324

Iodated carbon traps are used to test air samples, such as air in demolition sites and flue gas streams. The iodated carbon traps are digested with acid and further oxidized with bromine monochloride (BrCl). The analysis of sorbent trap blanks and breakthrough performance data (“B” bed in each trap) are required for this method. Samples are analyzed by stannous chloride (SnCl2) reduction, followed by gold amalgamation, thermal desorption and cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CVAFS) using a Brooks Applied Labs Merx-T Analyzer. A benefit of this method is that sample digestates may be reanalyzed at a dilution if the initial analytical result is above the instrument calibration range.

EPA Method IO-5
Used to test vapor and particle phase mercury in ambient air samples, such as air in demolition sites, this method requires collecting air onto gold sand traps and/or glass fiber filters. It is a best practice to collect a co-located sample (field duplicate) as well as have a blank trap/filter and a trap spiked with a known quantity of mercury travel with every group of samples for quality assurance purposes. Gold amalgamation traps are heated to thermally desorb the mercury under argon gas which is then measured using cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CVAFS) using a Brooks Applied Labs Model III Analyzer. This method has a much lower detection limit than methods using IC trap; however, the gold traps may not be reanalyzed is there is an analytical issue or if the initial analytical result is above the instrument calibration range.

EPA Method IO-5/ASTM Method D6350 using CVAFS detection
Used to test gas samples, such as natural gas or landfill gas, this method involves passing a known volume of gas through a sampling train of two gold traps. The first trap is used to collect the sample and the second one is to test for breakthrough. It is a best practice to have a blank trap and a trap spiked with a known quantity of mercury travel with every group of samples for quality assurance purposes. Gold amalgamation traps are heated to thermally desorb the mercury under argon gas which is then measured using cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CVAFS) using a Brooks Applied Labs Model III Analyzer.

Get pricing for your next ambient air or gas-monitoring project by requesting a quote online now.

 

Recent Air & Gas Projects


Manhattan Ambient Air Monitoring
For nearly 2 years, Brooks Applied Labs was responsible for the daily monitoring of mercury concentrations during the high-profile deconstruction/demolition of several buildings in downtown Manhattan using EPA Method 324, modified. For this project, BAL provided the pre-tested sample collection media and reported all samples results on a 3-day turnaround time.

Air Balloon Ambient Air Monitoring
Brooks Applied Labs recently worked on a project that involved sampling mercury in an air balloon by deploying an automated system in the balloon while it traveled up to 79,000 feet into the atmosphere. It was demonstrated that mercury is found at detectable levels throughout all levels of our atmosphere and measured roughly 50% higher at an altitude of 49,000 feet than on the ground. The samples were analyzed by EPA Method IO-5.

Gas Monitoring Experience
Brooks Applied Labs has extensive experience in the analysis of Hg on gold traps that have been used for the collection of landfill gas and natural gas, including several long-term landfill gas monitoring projects where samples were collected for 6-9 months and routine monitoring for Hg in natural gas at various chemical companies.