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Fourier Transform Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy for Quantitative Analysis of Gas Mixtures for Homeland Security Applications at Low Temperatures



Douglas C. Meier, Kurt D. Benkstein, Wilbur S. Hurst, Pamela M. Chu


Performance specifications for point chemical vapor detectors are specified in ASTM E2885-13 and ASTM E2933-13. The performance evaluation of the detectors requires the accurate delivery of known concentrations of the chemical target to the system under test. Referee methods enable the analyte test concentration and associated uncertainties in the analyte test concentration to be validated by independent analysis, which is especially important for reactive analytes. This work extends the capability of a previously demonstrated method for using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) absorption spectroscopy for quantitatively evaluating the composition of vapor streams containing hazardous materials at Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGL) to include test conditions colder than laboratory ambient temperatures. The described method covers the use of primary reference spectra to establish analyte concentrations, the generation of secondary reference spectra suitable for measuring analyte concentrations under specified testing environments, and the use of additional reference spectra and spectral profile strategies to mitigate the uncertainties due to impurities and water condensation within the low-temperature (7 °C, -5 °C) test cell. Important benefits of this approach include verification of the test analyte concentration with characterized uncertainties by in situ measurements co-located with the detector under test, near-real-time feedback, and broad applicability to toxic industrial chemicals.
Journal of Testing and Evaluation


gas-phase, FT-IR spectroscopy, toxic industrial chemicals
Created April 13, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018