Monday, June 11, 2018

Sandwich STEM Academy Clean Energy Festival 2018

Dr. Jack Driscoll (@pidguy), President of PID Analyzers, a Sandwich STEM Academy Science Advisory Board Member and STEM Academy grandparent, was an exhibitor at the STEM Academy Clean Energy Day

This event was funded through Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, through a grant that was written and facilitated by the Sandwich STEM Academy Science and Engineering teachers and took place at Sandwich High School for Sandwich students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 on Tuesday, May 22nd (9:30am-2pm) and showcased and celebrated renewable energies. The Clean Energy Fair’s mission is to promote sustainable and renewable energy through hands-on education. The event included a brief welcoming ceremony, an energy carnival, hands-on learning energy activities, exhibitor booths, a “passport” to record their learning experiences, and a gift bag for all students. Grade 7 and 8 students attended a brief welcoming ceremony in the auditorium, then headed to the gym, where they spent a total of 75 minutes, rotating through three stations: the energy carnival, exhibitors’ booths, and hands-on energy activities.

 PID Analyzers, a Sandwich-based manufacturing company, was among the 10 exhibitors at STEM Academy Clean Energy Festival. 
PID Analyzers' exhibit was on energy storage with batteries used to power their portable analyzers. Batteries included lead acid (old type), NIMH, LiPO, and Li ion. The students were very excited about the event and an 11th grader taking photos and videos said that she wished that she had something like this when she was in the 7th grade.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

GC/FUV for analysis of ambient (ppb level) greenhouse gases

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Joint Symposium of the Separation Science Subdivisions 

CONTROL ID: 2980438
TITLE: GC/FUV for analysis of ambient (ppb level) greenhouse gases
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): Jennifer L. Maclachlan1John N. Driscoll1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States. 
We have recently improved the sensitivity of our far UV absorbance detector by nearly an order of magnitude so that it can now detect ppb levels of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). We have added a concentrator to our Portable GC 312 so that we can further improve the accuracy of the measurement. Nearly a decade ago the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas data under a new reporting system since CH4, N2O, & , CO2 , since these gases absorb strongly in the infrared trapping heat in the atmosphere and affecting the temperature on the Earth. These gases have been measured using expensive long path infrared analyzers or complex gas chromatography using as many as three detectors and three valves. Our far UV absorbance detector is more simple, is capable of measuring all three gases and is a less complex alternative to existing methods.

Photoionization detector with sealed or windowless discharges for ppb detection of VOC’s or and or fixed gases

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Advances in Sensors and Biosensors for Environmental Monitoring


TITLE: Photoionization detector with sealed or windowless discharges for ppb detection of VOC’s or and or fixed gases

AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): John N. Driscoll2Jennifer L. Maclachlan1INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States. 
2. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA, United States. 

ABSTRACT BODY: Abstract: The Photoionization detector (PID) with a 10.6 eV lamp and a sealed window has been shown to be 50-80 times more sensitive for aromatic hydrocarbons than the flame ionization detector (FID) but the 10.6 PID does not respond to small molecules like formaldehyde, chloro alkanes, MeOH, C2-C4 alkanes, The 11.7 PID will respond to many of these compounds with sub ppm detection limits but it has a lithium fluoride window that results in decreased transmission after absorption of the photons at 11.6 and 11.8 eV. This color center formation limits the useful lifetime to 700-800 hours on the gas chromatograph (GC). We have designed a windowless PID option that uses the same base (ion chamber) and can easily be exchanged with the sealed 10.6 eV lamp when a different application is needed. We will compare the sensitivity of a sealed 11.7 lamp with the windowless lamp. The windowless argon lamp will not have 11.7 sealed lamp transmission problem but now it becomes very important to maintain a constant (high purity) argon flow and constant discharge conditions. If we change the discharge gas from argon to helium, we will be able to have a detector with an ionization source with an energy of 20.2 eV that will be able to detect organic, inorganic and fixed gases at low ppb levels. We will compare the results for the sealed PID with the windowless PID for a number of gas mixtures.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Analysis and identification of ppb levels of VOC’s in ambient air via GC-PID-FID

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Analytical Division Poster Session
CONTROL ID: 2980432
TITLE: Analysis and identification of ppb levels of VOC’s in ambient air via GC-PID-FID
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): John N. Driscoll1Jennifer L. Maclachlan1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States. 

We have developed a GC system with a PID/FID in-series that will concentrate an ambient air sample so that low ppb or even ppt levels of VOCs in ambient air can be detected. We have shown that the PID (10.6 EV) has a response that increases with the number of double bonds while the FID does not have the same dependence. All these structures have the same response for the FID. This feature can be utilized to identify alkanes, alkenes and aromatic hydrocarbons in a concentrated ambient air sample. Using a capillary column, the PID /FID ratios were 15 (alkanes), 30 (alkenes) and 75 (aromatics) respectively. This technique is more sensitive, simpler, easier to maintain and, of course, less expensive than a continuous GC/MS system for ambient air measurements.

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