Professor Herman Van Langenhove’s research group at Ghent University has recently published research in the Chemical Engineering Journal that demonstrates that Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) can prevent air pollution, not only measure it.
In their paper describing evaluation of two-phase partitioning bioreactor (TPPB) performance, authors Volckaert, Ebude, and Van Langenhove describe the benefits of a novel bioreactor for removing both hydrophobic and hydrophilic VOCs. In assessing the bioreactor’s performance, they first benchmarked SIFT-MS against more traditional GC-based analysis of dimethyl sulfide, hexane, and toluene. They obtained very good agreement.
However, GC was unsuitable for continuous process monitoring because it cannot provide instantaneous performance feedback. So the researchers applied SIFT-MS for direct, instantaneous, multi-component analysis of the gas stream. Application of SIFT-MS is so simple, because there is no need to do any sample modification or preconcentration.
On-line measurement using SIFT-MS enables maximum reduction in VOC emissions to be achieved continuously for diverse chemical species. The end result is reduced atmospheric pollution, benefiting both human health and the environment.
You can read the full text of the article titled “SIFT-MS analysis of the removal of dimethyl sulphide, n-hexane and toluene from waste air by a two phase partitioning bioreactor” by Diëgo Volckaert, Deba Enomah Lucy Ebude, and Herman Van Langenhove in Chemical Engineering Journal (volume 290, pages 346-352). It is available here: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2016.01.057.