Technology brings water-borne hydrocarbon fingerprinting

For the first time, water utility companies, industry and environmental scientists can conduct real-time in-situ and remote tests for low-level presence of hydrocarbons in water following Enviro Technology's introduction of Synspec's pioneering new hydrocarbons in water analyser.

Traditionally it has been difficult to accurately identify hydrocarbon compounds in water unless they are present at very high levels, such as after a large scale industrial spill. Also, tests have required laboratory work which means there is often a 48-hour timeframe for results.

Synspec's more sensitive system allows everyday industrial waste, river water and drinking water to be tested simply and cost-effectively throughout the day at remote monitoring stations. When unsafe levels of toxic hydrocarbons are detected, the alarm is raised and remedial action can be initiated quickly.

Working in tandem with Synspec's compact GC/PID analysers, the system strips out VOCs from a water sample and turns them into their gaseous form to establish the sample's hydrocarbon fingerprint. Results are plotted in a detailed chromatogram which can be examined alongside the standard TO-14 list of toxic organic compounds in ambient air.

Field testing of the product at a river in China demonstrated the product's efficacy, robustness and precision of readings.

"Synspec's water purge system will change the face of water quality monitoring in the UK," says Duncan Mounsor, Sales and Marketing Director at Enviro Technology. "Previously, organisations had to rely on other indicators, such as pH readings, to establish water quality but now they can see a fuller, more accurate picture. Better water quality measurement leads to better water quality management, and that's good news for us all."

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