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CleanAir Validates Picarro’s Ethylene Oxide Analyzer

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CleanAir Engineering validates Picarro’s Ethylene Oxide analyzer for stack, fenceline, and LDAR measurements

In December 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized its evaluation of the inhalation carcinogenicity from long-term inhalation exposure to ethylene oxide (EtO). The results were published via the Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System and indicated an increased carcinogenic potential for exposure to airborne EtO in the vicinity of facilities operating with EtO. This resulted in increased public scrutiny and subsequently led to a need for the industry to better characterize and control EtO emissions and leaks.

Accurately characterizing EtO emissions requires techniques that are capable of measuring EtO at concentrations ranging from parts-per-trillion (ppt) in ambient air to parts-per-million (ppm) in process streams. The choice of measurement technology that best suits the task at hand depends on expected EtO concentrations, existing sample gas conditions, the presence of potential measurement interferants, and the ultimate project objectives.

Early on, CleanAir recognized the advantages that Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) has for its potential to make rapid and precise measurements of EtO at ultra-low concentrations. Partnering with Picarro, Inc., a leading provider of CRDS-based solutions to measure greenhouse and trace gases, CleanAir has evaluated Picarro’s new CRDS-based EtO analyzer lineup for its capability to measure EtO in a variety of industrial applications.

Most recently, CleanAir used the Picarro technology to make EtO measurements in process streams before and after wet/dry scrubbers and thermal oxidizers. This evaluation also included use of the CRDS analyzer for fenceline monitoring of EtO as well as measurements for leak detection and repair (LDAR). Throughout the study, the CRDS technology provided reliable and rapid EtO measurements down to extremely low levels. This data allows plant operators to make informed decisions that will ultimately help to minimize and prevent exposure of humans and the environment to this toxic gas.


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