How It Works

The Proton Transfer Reaction – Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (PTRTOF) mobile laboratory system is an analytic laboratory in a commercial van, providing real-time vapor analysis. The mobile laboratory includes LICOR CO2 direct-reading instruments (DRI) and can perform near real-time detection of 56 of the Hanford Site’s 59 chemicals of potential concern (COPCs). The PTRTOF is sensitive to mass only and requires other instrumentation, such as the Gas Chromatagraph - Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS), to identify chemical-vapors species. While the PTR-TOF is a real-time measurement, the GC-MS is not. Therefore, results are only useful once the data has been thoroughly analyzed, which requires two to three days. This unique detection technology is especially useful because of its high-fidelity detection, number of COPCs detected, and ability to characterize specific vapor release sources and/or “chase” plumes.

How It's Used

In the pilot-scale demonstration, the mobile laboratory will be used to determine baseline concentration of vapors while travelling and in stationary locations across the Hanford Site. The real-time results from the mobile laboratory will be compared to the real-time data from the DRIs and optical spectra instruments deployed in the pilot-scale test and later compared to the laboratory analysis results from the autosampler (whole-air grab samples analyzed by independent GC-MS). The mobile laboratory will be deployed directly to sensitive areas where vapors and odors or suspected emissions are postulated and expected. In addition, the system will be configured to analyze the AP Farm exhaust stack and A Farm passive breather filters.