As a special branch within IMS, the range of SEADM’s ion mobility solutions, developed in collaboration with SEADM’s cofounder, Yale Professor J. Fernandez de la Mora, puts at your fingertips unique advantages for a wide range of environmental applications, including nanoaerosols, vapors and liquids:
- Optimum resolution, for the analysis of vapor or liquid samples with complex matrices and/or strong interferents.
- Fast and automated operation.
- Lowest limits of detection available and well proven proprietary techniques to overcome the humidity effect.
These advantages allow the community of users of SEADM’s equipment worldwide to get unique, new insights in their environmental studies.
Interested? Just keep on reading the following application examples!
1. Determination of toxic organic micro-pollutants
Related products: Vapour Analysis System and Vapor Analyzer front end
The “toxic organic micro-pollutants” (TOMPs) are a particular type of atmospheric compounds present at sub-trace (≤1 ng/m3) levels, but that nonetheless have long residence times in the eco-system and are highly harmful for humans, causing cancer, reproductive disorders as well as serious damage over the immune, nervous and endocrine systems.
Beyond CO and CO2, the combustion of carbon-containing fuels in a multiple daily-live processes produces an extremely toxic range of organic pollutants at ultra-trace levels.
Among these compounds, which are mainly produced in the combustion of carbon-containing fuels and waste, we can highlight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) and its reference compound, Benzo(a)Pyrene, the family of dioxins and furans PCDD/PCDFs, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The current reference technology for the monitoring of this type of compounds, Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) is faced, however, with costly, slow, highly uncertain and manual operation which furthermore needs to be executed by means of highly qualified personnel.
SEADM’s Vapour Analysis System is based in the radically different ion mobility spectrometry / mass spectrometry (IMS/MS/MS) technology which allows for: (i) costs per analysis reduced by a factor of ten vs. GC/MS; (ii) drastically reduced analysis times (minutes vs. days), (iii) automated operation by non-specialized personnel, and (iv) lower analytical uncertainty.
For instance, the technological Centre CARTIF, www.cartif.es applies SEADM’s Vapor Analysis System to characterize minute concentrations of dioxins around a municipal waste incinerator plant. Learn more.
Very recently, the University of Málaga (Spain) purchased a full Vapour Analysis System, from SEADM, for environmental studies.
2. Other hazardous environmental compounds
SEADM analysis equipment enables the quick and reliable determination of many other hazardous compounds present in the environment, such as for instance Phthalates (plasticisers utilized in the manufacture of polymers and plastics in order to tailor their physical properties), plaguicides in a variety of matrices (including air, soil and biota), PCBs, water contaminants at trace and ultra-trace levels, etc. Learn more
Application of TD-APPI-DMA-MS to the detection of various phthalate esters present within small volumes of sampled air (0.2 m3). Differences between the concentrations determined both indoors and outdoors are detailed in the table above.
3. Plant metabolism
Related product: LFSESI
Researchers from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, have applied SEADM’s LFSESI ionization source working as an add-on of one of their mass-specs, to characterize more than 1200 volatiles emanated by the Begonia semperflorens plant during day-night cycles. SEADM’s LFSESI was used for the measurement at intervals of two minutes, showing, for instance, how β-caryophyllene, which is directly related to photosynthesis, showed a periodic day-night pattern with highest concentrations during the day.
Application of LFSESI for the analysis of plant metabolism. Left: experimental arrangement showing LFSESI coupled to mass spec. Right: evolution of some selected volatiles during day and night cycles.
It is expected that this is inexpensive, fully automated method can open new pathways in the analysis and optimization of plant metabolism, for reduced pesticides use and ultimately improved quality, enhanced efficiency food production.
See the video of this research
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4. Microbiological processes
In a recent study, Swiss researchers monitored more than 140 volatile metabolites produced by yeast fed with glucose during > 20 hours runs. They successfully detected changes in the volatile pattern having typical evolution times ranging from seconds to hours after glucose injection. This enlightens SEADM’s LFSESI source as a unique tool allowing getting new insights of microbiological processes with application in food and pharma sectors.