At a recent Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) meeting*, Drs Marvin Shaw (National Centre for Atmospheric Science, York, UK) and Mark Perkins (Anatune Ltd) described a remarkable laboratory and field study that benchmarked Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) performance against Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and Gas Chromatography (GC) for ambient air monitoring applications:
“VOC measurements in ambient air using Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) – automation and calibration considerations”
The laboratory work benchmarked the Syft Technologies Voice200ultra SIFT-MS instrument against a leading PTR-MS instrument. Sensitivities – in counts per second per ppb (cps/ppb, by volume) – are consistently better for a wide range of oxygenated VOCs and hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the use of multiple, rapidly switchable reagent ions provides enhanced selectivity and detection of a wider range of compounds in continuous ambient monitoring compared to PTR-MS.
Field deployment near Beijing, China in October to December 2016 saw the SIFT-MS technique evaluated alongside conventional gas chromatographic analysis with flame ionization detection (GC-FID). Very good correlation was observed for these real-time measurements. See for example the toluene data in the graph below.
*RSC meeting: “What’s new in the analysis of complex environmental matrices?”, 3 March 2017, London, United Kingdom.
Posted by Dr Vaughan Langford, Director of Applications and Marketing at Syft Technologies