Sunday, May 28, 2017

Real-time detection of toxic arsine vapors in the workplace at low ppb levels

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Advances in Separations
CONTROL ID: 2736842
DATE: August 23, 2017
TITLE: Real-time detection of toxic arsine vapors in the workplace at low ppb levels
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): Jennifer L. Maclachlan1John N. Driscoll1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States. 
Photo by J.L.Maclachlan
Hand-held miniature GC

Abstract: Arsine (AsH3) is a flammable and toxic hydride gas that is used in the manufacture of semiconductors and organic arsenic compounds. The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for arsine (29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table) is 0.05 ppm, 0.2 mg/m3 time weighted average (TWA). Arsine has a low Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): value of 3 ppmIn the semiconductor doping operation the tanks have arsine at percent levels so even small leaks can cause serious problems.
The on-site method for AsH3 detection is a detector tube which (depending of the manufacturer) can have detection limits from 0.02- 5 ppm according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Clearly, the latter tube is not of much use since the IDLH for AsH3 is 3 ppm. Several of the other detector tubes have detection limits that are just below the PEL and are not very accurate.

We have developed a new hand held gas chromatograph/photoionization detector (GC/PID) that has a detection limit of 5 ppb and an analysis time of less than 1 minute. This GC can be used for leak detection and determining the concentration of AsHin the workplace. It also provides a safer environment for the workers than the detector tubes.

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