• Real-time analysis provides instant feedback on pollution events
  • Single, selective analysis of chemically diverse compounds
  • High sensitivity and wide linear range (pptv to ppmv)
  • 24/7 operation with minimal downtime (<1% downtime for validation)


Real-time ambient air monitoring campaigns using Syft SIFT-MS, our solution provides simple, reliable and continuous analysis of trace volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air. VOCs and inorganic gases are important – but usually invisible – air pollutants. Some are highly toxic (including the carcinogens benzene and formaldehyde), some have nuisance value (e.g. producing offensive odors or lacrimation), but all VOCs are contributors to photochemical smog.

SIFT-MS has a unique combination of features that allow it to quantify VOCs in real time, with very high selectivity, at the required ambient concentrations, and with wide linear and dynamic ranges. SIFT-MS also delivers benefits in ease of use, ease of integration, remote operation, and long-term calibration stability.


Industry Challenges

  • Conventional VOC monitoring is off-line, so dynamic changes are missed or averaged out
  • Analysis of multiple compounds usually requires multiple instruments
  • Calibration and validation steps often result in large periods of downtime on a daily basis
  • Traditional VOC monitoring instrumentation requires high levels of technical intervention

How Syft can help

  • Sensitive and comprehensive Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) analysis helps identify and address the cause of pollution events
  • Reduce CapEx through applying a single SIFT-MS instrument that analyzes most air pollutants
  • Save OpEx through much lower intervention, maintenance, and consumable requirements
  • Rapidly respond to changing ambient conditions through real-time monitoring and simple quantitation


VOCs formed by human activities are significant pollutants that are often directly hazardous to human health and also contribute to secondary effects such as ozone production in photochemical-induced smog.

The SIFT-MS technique provides rapid, high-sensitivity analysis of VOCs and inorganic gases at ambient levels with no sample preparation and no compound discrimination. Benefits include:

  • Real-time monitoring – detect and quantify pollution events as they happen
  • Analytical results unaffected by sample humidity
  • Very wide linear and dynamic range
  • Flexibility – analyze directly or via sampling media, such as sampling bags or canisters.

Applications of SIFT-MS-based air monitoring include:

  • Ambient air monitoring in fixed huts or in mobile laboratories
  • 24/7 fence-line monitoring
  • Wide scale surveys.
Ambient air monitoring

Ambient air monitoring of toluene to part-per-trillion levels. Toluene measurements correlate with wind speed.

Tailpipe emissions

Tailpipe emissions from a three- year-old Nissan Murano fitted with a catalytic converter.


Improvements in internal combustion engines and industrial processes have reduced emissions of harmful compounds, but they remain significant in intensive industrial and densely populated urban areas.

SIFT-MS is an ideal tool for comprehensive continuous emissions monitoring of VOCs and inorganics (e.g. HF, HCl, NOx and SOx). SIFT-MS provides high-sensitivity, real-time sample analysis that is independent of humidity.

Industrial and research applications include:

  • Tail-pipe emissions from motor vehicles
  • Emissions from fixed combustion sources, such as gas turbines burning landfill or biogas
  • Stack emissions from industrial processes
  • Detection of nitrosamine byproducts in carbon capture technologies.


Models for atmospheric processes rely heavily on both ambient measurements and fundamental laboratory research. SIFT-MS is an effective tool for atmospheric researchers because it allows dynamic processes to be monitored in real time in smog chambers or other reactors.

SIFT-MS is a direct MS technique that has high sensitivity to a very wide range of VOCs and inorganic gases in a single analysis. Examples of compounds detectable using SIFT-MS are:

  • Nitrogen compounds, such as peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), ammonia, amines, and nitrosamines
  • Sulfur compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and carbonyl sulfide
  • Oxygenates, such as alcohols, aldehydes (e.g. formaldehyde), and ketones (with real-time resolution of isomeric aldehydes and ketones)
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Halogenated compounds, such as hydrogen chloride, methyl bromide, and perchloroethylene.
Atmospheric Research

Decay of trimethylamine concentrations in a smog chamber decay when reactive compounds are introduced.

Image of the Syft Voice 200 ultra


Self-contained SIFT-MS platform capable of autonomous 24/7 monitoring of VOCs and inorganic gases.


Auto-validation inlet allows switching between sample, calibration standard, and background gas streams.


Remote operation of the Voice200ultra is supported via industry-standard MODBUS or proprietary Voice Remote Control protocols.


Software package for viewing and analyzing SIFT-MS data from multiple instruments, or customizing analyses.

Compound Library

Access detection and quantitation parameters for over 1000 compounds to leverage the diverse capability of the platform.

Get in touch for more information on our Ambient Air Monitoring solutions

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