Innovative Multi-Mode Vapor Thermal Desorption Devices

W. Tolley
Seacoast Science, Inc,
United States

Keywords: thermal desorption, environmental monitoring, industrial hygiene, air-borne vapors, volatile organic compounds


Use of thermal desorption techniques is an established method for hygiene studies of noxious vapors in the workplace and their effects on worker health. This includes both Federal agencies and private industry. Utility of the thermal desorption technique, however, has been hampered by inflexibility of the sampling equipment. With the improvements in recent years of electronic controls, Seacoast Science has designed, fabricated and lab-tested an innovative vapor sampler to assist in quantifying toxic industrial chemicals (TIC’s) in the workplace. The samplers consist of multi-bank, multi-tube, individually addressable tube, sequential air-sampler modules. Air sampling campaigns are programmed into the modules using the on-board user interface, or uploaded from a computer via USB connection. The design objective was a readily transportable air sampler that allows the users to capture air samples using COTS thermal desorption tubes. The equipment is intended for unattended use over extended periods. Seacoast foresees the possibility of further miniaturizing the sampler for use as a personal monitor (i.e., compact enough to be carried by a worker during his/her on-duty period).