How to Select Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers Image Credit: GE Analytical Instruments, Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Teledyne Instruments Carbon content is one of the most important parameters measured in various types of solutions, from commercial drinking water to industrial wastewater. Total organic carbon1 (TOC) analyzers are devices used to analyze the organic carbon content in these water or liquid solutions. They provide highly sensitive, non-specific readouts of all...
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Q & A on Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers

We asked our users for their input on Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers. Here are the results of 117 users familiar with Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing TOC analyzer design?
16 answers
Answers:
Whilst optical techniques have been recently introduced to infer TOC concentrations without the use of reagents, the technology must be used with caution. For waste-water applications, often the sample matrix comprises a cocktail of chemical components and each organic compound absorbs light differently and in some instances, not at all. Consequently, the algorithms used to infer TOC concentrations may not always be able to report accurately. However, in recognition of the need to reduce chemical consumption, various options are available. The Protoc technology can now also be used in a semi-continuous configuration. Intermittent analysis may be used to save reagents and then the instrument can be programmed for continuous measurement during high alarm conditions. Alternatively, an external signal can be used to trigger measurement for batch discharge applications. The recent upgrade with a dual speed pump has reduced purge times, optimizing the intermittent function.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
Using the critical temperature of water to enhance oxidation processes without increasing the temperature.
~Ismail H, Laboratory Analyst, Cape Town, South Africa
1.Sample without filtration 2.High range analysis without dilution 3.High oxidization efficiency
~Canny Chuang, Marketing/Sales, Taichung, Taiwan
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative TOC analyzers?
17 answers
Answers:
Pollution and Process Monitoring Ltd has a wealth of experience in the waste-water and surface water market. The Protoc TOC technology is well proven and has been awarded the highly acclaimed UK MCERTS certification following extensive evaluation and a Company manufacturing audit. However, we recognize that for trace level measurement in the pharmaceutical and semi-conductor industries, some customers may prefer to use a conductivity based measurement to infer the TOC concentration. Companies such as Sievers provide semi-portable TOC analyzers configured 0-500 PPB for the measurement of ultra-pure water. Whilst the Protoc technology can be configured for this range and it uses a recognized wet chemistry methodology, the analyzer requires a sodium-persulphate reagent to complete the analysis, which is less convenient.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
1.High combustion method master: LAR 2.Ozone method master: Biotector
~Canny Chuang, Marketing/Sales, Taichung, Taiwan
SWAN analytical Instruments. Have a look at this unit.
~Roger S, Application Manager Pharma & UPW, Hinwil, Switzerland
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used TOC analyzers for?
32 answers
Answers:
TOC analyzers have been installed both in the laboratory (commercial, municipal, R&D and for Regulatory Authorities) as well as for continuous on-line measurement through-out industry. Since our UV persulfate technique is truly continuous, the instrumentation can be used for many monitoring and control applications. In the first instance, these instruments are often installed as compliance monitors, measuring the quality of the treated water discharged to either river or sewer. However, progressively the technology is installed in-process to identify product loss, spillage and to control dosing chemicals. The food and beverage industry, engineering, chemical and the international/MOD airports, use TOC analyzers to determine the organic contamination within their waste-water and surface water discharges. With a speed of response from 3 minutes, the instrumentation is a very effective proactive management tool, identifying point source emissions and failing processes in real time. This style of monitoring and control can then be used to identify detrimental events and allow engineers to take corrective measures before the problems compound themselves. By comparison, discrete laboratory analysis can only provide historical data making proactive management difficult. Whilst spot sampling can be useful to initially indicate the extent of a problem or enable independent measurement, laboratory analysis is often less effective than continuous measurement. A single sample may not capture the true concentration range eg. highs and lows, whilst composite sampling also often masks the extent of the problem by balancing sample concentrations.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
1.To replace the Potassium bichromate method(Taiwan EPA) 2.For oil leakage monitor 3.For waste water effluent standard control 4.For process waste water(Influent of waste water plant) control 5.For water recycling monitor
~Canny Chuang, Marketing/Sales, Taichung, Taiwan
TOC Analyzers are used by the City of Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) to monitor both our Water Supply and the various streams in our three Waste Water Treatment Plants.
~Allan Z, Wastewater Treatment Process Specialist (Chemist), Winnipeg, Canada
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that TOC analyzers have been used for.
6 answers
Answers:
TOC as an on-line parameter is progressively being used to infer other measurements such as Biological and Chemical Oxygen Demand. The ability to respond to events as they occur allows real time control and risk aversion. Whilst the methodology is very established in certain industries, in others it is only used in isolated cases. Probably the most unusual application which we have installed the Protoc technology is to measure the quality of discharge from a Company making snake anti-venom, following electro-chemical treatment, this application has never been repeated! A slightly less unusual example but still niche, would be raw water abstraction for potable or drinking water production. Since the technique is capable of reporting all forms of organic contamination (which would include petrol, diesel, solvents, agrichemical compounds) the measurement is a very comprehensive pollution alarm mechanism. Similarly, whilst TOC measurement has also been widely installed to measure surface water discharge from drainage systems at airports and large chemical manufacturers; the measurement of surface water release from large construction sites, building domestic housing would also be considered unusual. However, its deployment along with a suite of other measurements, has proved beneficial to identify water quality and provide controlled release from site.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
We use TOC analyzers more than the chromatograph to determine acetylene test because the peak is so short that a chromatograph could miss the maximum.
~Bauduin Julian, Process Engineer, Roanne, France
Industrial Waste and Hauled Waste monitoring for organic content. Biosolids carbon content.
~Allan Z, Wastewater Treatment Process Specialist (Chemist), Winnipeg, Canada

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of TOC analyzers?
9 answers
Answers:
Certainly optical instruments have been wrongly selected for monitoring and control applications. An instrument using UV254nm absorption was purchased for a coagulation control application only to find that the organic components (humic and formic acids) were not detected. Similarly, surrogate TOC analysis was unable to report dissolved sugar components in a brewing waste application.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
The TOC is the high loading device for the end user, if your people are not professionals in the operation, please make the contract with the supplier. If you don't have the budget for this, please consider that the machine will be non functioning soon without maintenance, according to my 12 years of experience.
~Canny Chuang, Marketing/Sales, Taichung, Taiwan
Particle size is important for a sample to analyze, if a sample's particle size is more than the recommended size for that instrument, then it creates a major problem for the instrument and it will give a wrong analysis and need lot of effort to rectify it.
~Ragesh S, Analytical Chemist, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
14 answers
Answers:
The physical packaging, the performance and the routine maintenance of the instrument are key considerations. Consequently, we are always considering how to reduce the size and weight of the instrument; reduce the frequency of routine maintenance and chemical consumption without compromising performance. However, as this is an analytical instrument, we have to be mindful of the need to package the instrument in a way that allows ease of access to individual components so routine maintenance would not be prejudiced.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
The detection range is our first criteria, 0-100% volume is needed, a low detection limit around 1-20ppm is wished. On the second point, repeatability and calibration procedures will be used, 1% full scale and a calibration point for each scale changes. Drift, supply and sampling.
~Bauduin Julian, Process Engineer, Roanne, France
Flushing sample tube, present model have option for flushing reagent tubes. If flushing sample tube option is available, it's easy to remove contaminants without running ultra pure water as sample.
~Ragesh S, Analytical Chemist, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using TOC analyzers?
12 answers
Answers:
First of all understand your process, the associated risks and what you are trying to achieve. Then with all necessary data in hand, contact the prospective suppliers of TOC instrumentation for their considered view, obtain proposals and most importantly take up references for similar applications.
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
For analyzing waste water, better make sure that the sample is homogenized, and then only get low RSD. You can use a magnetic stirrer to homogenize the sample. If you use auto sampler, better use a blended waste water sample to homogenize.
~Ragesh S, Analytical Chemist, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
Complexity of the instrument does not necessarily mean that the product works better. Understand the analyzer's ability to completely oxidize the sample. Look at how easy the system can be calibrated and proved.
~Steve S, Marketing/Sales, Denver, CO
1. If you don't have enough budget to buy, you may select the wrong type for your application, so please evaluate before making a budget 2. Ease and low frequency of maintenance is very important
~Canny Chuang, Marketing/Sales, Taichung, Taiwan
Have an open mind and don't trust only the big names. There are a few small producers and they have really smart solutions!
~Roger S, Application Manager Pharma & UPW, Hinwil, Switzerland
Know how about TOC technique and instrument.... User should know the application and chemistry of samples.
~Sohail Shahzad, Technical Support, Islamabad, Pakistan
Choose an analyzer that can do samples of different matrices without damage to the TOC.
~Ismail H, Laboratory Analyst, Cape Town, South Africa
Research products carefully. Service availability at a reasonable cost is important.
~Allan Z, Wastewater Treatment Process Specialist (Chemist), Winnipeg, Canada
To select the supplier carefully, considering the local support (in the country).
~Roberto F, Engineering Consultant, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Toray Engineering Co., Ltd. in Japan is a manufacturer in the Asian market.
~Kaz K, General Management, Tokyo, Japan
Look for the particles treatment.
~Quality Control, Epalinges, Switzerland
Biotector
~Eno A, Analyzer Support Tech, Geismar, LA

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of TOC analyzers?
11 answers
Answers:
It's important to make sure the instrumentation is "fit for purpose", so make sure the instrument and sampling system has been designed for the specific task. The complete monitoring installation is what determines how reliable the system will be so consider the complete monitoring solution, not just the analyzer!
~Steven T, Engineer, Borough Green, Kent, UK
Consider your sample matrix, and study well before going to purchase a TOC analyzer. In my opinion, pressurized persulfate digestion is best for waste water and conductivity method is best for clean water.
~Ragesh S, Analytical Chemist, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
If possible, test your purchase selection in your lab on the various samples that you will be analyzing. Make sure your analyst(s) are properly trained on the selected instrument.
~Allan Z, Wastewater Treatment Process Specialist (Chemist), Winnipeg, Canada
Know how about TOC technique and instrument.... Sample preparation and handling is very important...plus system cleaning and routine maintenance...
~Sohail Shahzad, Technical Support, Islamabad, Pakistan
Just to warn people, water and dust should not affect TOC analyzers but some filters will improve life-time.
~Bauduin Julian, Process Engineer, Roanne, France
Follow sample system design in operating manuals. Up front planning of program so Biotector can build only what you need.
~Eno A, Analyzer Support Tech, Geismar, LA
Don't look only on the data sheets. Conduct a trial and keep an eye on the maintain side.
~Roger S, Application Manager Pharma & UPW, Hinwil, Switzerland
If you can't control the sample condition, please select the easy maintenance one.
~Canny Chuang, Marketing/Sales, Taichung, Taiwan
The user should have his personnel well trained to keep the system running well.
~Roberto F, Engineering Consultant, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Measurement accuracy is based on technology chosen.
~Mark H, General Management, Boulder, CO
Avoid units with a large number of moving parts.
~Steve S, Marketing/Sales, Denver, CO


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