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New photo ionisation detection technology for monitoring VOCs

23 January 2013

What is MiniPID technology? Within the market we talk about the revolution of safety; the development and increased usage of MiniPID technology in the market today might be better described as an evolution in innovation

What is MiniPID technology? Within the market we talk about the revolution of safety; the development and increased usage of MiniPID technology in the market today might be better described as an evolution in innovation.

This latest innovation in measuring VOCs is the development by Ion Science of miniature PID sensors. A Photo Ionisation Detector in the shell of a Series 4 / 'A' Class gas sensor enables PID technology to be deployed across a range of gas detection instruments. Incorporating the patented Fence Electrode Technology to increase resistance to humidity and contamination, this sensor is now being used across a range of confined space gas detectors and environmental instruments.

What will this innovation offer you? It will offer users more accuracy and a wider detection range when incorporated into standard PID instruments. Many users need a very sensitive instrument with parts per billion measurements. Others want to identify high levels of VOCs sometimes up to 20,000 ppm (parts per million) or 2% volume. The MiniPID's increased range means that it is now possible to consolidate all this in one instrument to meet more demanding total VOC monitoring requirements.

The MiniPID can be used for a variety of different applications including: air quality assessments, soil contamination and land remediation, industrial hygiene and safety monitoring, first response in HazMat incidents, low-level VOC detection, environmental emissions monitoring, confined space entry, atmosphere monitoring and arson investigation.

What is the connection? Although designed originally for gas detection manufacturers, the growing success of the MiniPID now means that this new technology has been adopted by other manufacturers such as Honeywell (formally Sperian) who incorporated the MiniPID into their PHD6 product line and 3MTM/Quest TechnologiesTM who also use the MiniPID in their EVM Air Quality product line.

Ion Science who created the MiniPID use it in the PhoCheck Tiger VOC monitor and GasClam Ground Gas Monitor as well as in the newly released Tiger Select; a Benzene Specific and Total Aromatic Compound monitor.

We think this technology is great! ….. But what do we know!?….. This is what our customers think! The latest technology in Ground Gas monitoring is the GasClam which aids in the development and regeneration of Landfill and Brownfield sites. Here is what Bo Simkin thinks….

"Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has been utilising a Gasclam in a number of Part IIA site investigations where ground gas has been identified as a key risk driver. High quality, reliable, continuous data obtained alongside traditional „spot sampling? provided greater insight into the gas regime of the site and served to reduce uncertainty whilst increasing confidence in the overall conclusions drawn from the data. This in turn reduced the monitoring period required and time and financial savings to be made"

Bo Simkin, Contaminated Land Officer, Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council When delivering their latest Personal Gas Monitor, Honeywell (formally Sperian) chose to incorporate the MiniPID sensor into their PHD6 product range. Gavin Craig and the team at Erith Contractors, use the PHD6 routinely. This is what he thinks…

"We rely heavily on the PHD6 on all our projects to keep a very close eye on the VOC?s within our projects. They are very user friendly and all members of our site team are able to operate them. The thing that we find at Erith is the ease of the download and calibration using the IQ6 docking station. We feel that this instrument is very important and does a great job for us on all our sites. With the help of Shawcity this instrument is great for Erith and all the projects we take on."

Gavin Craig, Site Office Manager, Erith The latest PID offering from Ion Science is the PhoCheck Tiger used for the detection of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) in many applications including the measurement of VOC's in Chemical and Petro- Chemical applications, Landfill sites, Soil Contamination detection and Environmental monitoring.

"The advent of the MiniPID has revolutionised the portable VOC monitoring industry. The decrease in power consumption, implementation of the humidity resistant fence electrode technology, excellent resolution and the widest span on the market have allowed the development of instruments such as the PhoCheck Tiger which can be used in a vast range of applications and environmental conditions with unparalleled usability. It is now no longer necessary to have multiple instruments to cover all the possible conditions you are likely to encounter providing the end user with a single, cost effective solution."

Peter Morris, Business Development Manager, Ion Science The EVM range of Air Quality instruments from 3MTM/Quest TechnologiesTM also utilises the MiniPID technology. Here is what Paul Woodcock thinks….

"When we as a Government Department were first informally tendering for Noise and Environmental monitoring equipment Shawcity were most helpful and co-operative in agreeing mutually convenient dates/times and offsite premises for the venue. They came on several occasions to carefully explain and demonstrate the products involved, the support, maintenance and training. Two onsite training sessions were set up and conducted for a small group then a larger group of staff (including new entrants to Health and Safety) and both sessions were included at no extra cost. I myself arranged the second session with Alex Graft, Southern Sales Manager at Shawcity, whose expertise on the equipment, particularly the noise measurement was invaluable. On one occasion when I could not download the data and get it printed for an important presentation Alex was quick to come and assist me at my premises which I was most grateful for. We have used the equipment extensively for measuring noise levels and conducting surveys in our computer halls. The humidity and temperature measurement recording facility has also proved invaluable where we have had problem with low humidity and cold temperatures last winter. The evidence provided from a fully calibrated piece of equipment has served us well and continues to do so."

Paul Woodcock, Government Department in Gloucestershire A comment we could not help but to include…..

"This is the customer service as it should be offered and has been much appreciated." Paul Woodcock, Government Department in Gloucestershire Erith Contractors also rely on the EVM range to monitor both dust and PID levels.

Here is what they think about the technology… "The dual functions of the EVM 7 cut down the amount of equipment needed and the fool-proof user interface means that the machines are incredibly simple to set up. The nature of our work on historical gasworks means that both dust and PID monitoring are of the upmost importance due to the presence of hazardous contaminants and toxic gases in the materials being disturbed. The factor which makes the EVMs invaluable and separates them from the other environmental monitoring units on the market, is that they can be left to run at several locations around the site, to continuously collect data throughout the day with complete confidence. It is the reliability of the EVM 7s battery, PID sensor and dust impactor which allow the unit to be left for extended periods of time without any concern. Though when issues do arise, the speed at which the problem is resolved by Shawcity is definitely in need of mention, be it a talk-through of a procedure over the phone, or the provision of a replacement unit while one goes away for service. The final thing which makes the EVM 7 so beneficial is the ease at which the information can be downloaded and analysed. The software is user-friendly and easily customised meaning the data can be downloaded and presented in the relevant form in a matter of minutes."

Gavin Craig, Site Office Manager, Erith

In summary The MiniPID technology is growing rapidly in the market and is being adopted by many manufacturers in a variety of sectors.

Shawcity are in the forefront of this technology, distributing products for all these major manufacturers to help provide you, our customers, with the benefits that the new MiniPID sensors provide. As you can see, Shawcity customers are very pleased with their instrumentation, service and benefits that the MiniPID technology provides. If you would like to incorporate these benefits into your own business Shawcity will be very happy to help. Our friendly team is only a phone call away! All instruments discussed in this article are available to hire or purchase from Shawcity Limited; your source for any monitoring solution!