Air analysis

From routine environmental monitoring, to custom targeted air analysis, RPS offers solutions to all your site monitoring requirements.


We provide tailored solutions to ensure you can assess the levels of volatile contaminants you need to control. This can be directly from the materials you handle in your workplace, or from airborne releases into the surrounding atmosphere.

Our experience with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) analysis

We have deep expertise in analysing soils, waters, food, building materials and recycled products as well as the air in a particular process or environment. This is to ensure any restricted and toxic chemicals do not exceed target levels. Our analysis can range from the direct measurement of volatiles released from a solid or liquid item. This can be by direct heating and trapping or heating in a sealed container in the presence of water and salts to form a headspace. It could also be by trapping the volatiles present in ambient air onto a tube or badge that, is then desorbed and analysed by mass spectrometry. 


air analysis

Our typical range of air analysis

  • Over 150 targeted Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in a variety of suites.
  • Broad scan semi-quantitative analysis
  • Custom solutions for specific airborne contaminants
  • CFCs analysis suites and chlorofluorocarbons in foams, insulating materials and recovery processes (following WEELABEX guidance for recycling/recovery of these products)
  • Headspace and dynamic headspace analysis
  • Active and passive sampling of thermal desorption, using a variety of sorbents in stainless tubes and badges


Our instrumentation and sampling options

RPS can offer volatile analysis in a number of ways:

  1. by direct heating of a solid or liquid placed in a sealed vessel to form a headspace gas sample known as headspace analysis.
  2. by direct thermal desorption of a stainless steel or glass trap, containing a solid media which has been used to trap airborne pollutants material known as thermal desorption. Preconditioned tubes are supplied for use in the field by pumping a known volume of air or by just uncapping and exposing to the atmosphere.
  3. by direct thermal extraction of a small amount of sample place in a thermal desorption tube known as thermal extraction.
  4. by thermal desorption of a micro sampling device such as a twister bar used to sample from a liquid known as Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction and thermal desorption.
  5. by concentrating analytes from a solid or liquid (see headspace analysis above) and then purging this extract onto a thermal desorption tube containing a sorbent which is the thermally desorbed, this technique is referred to as dynamic headspace which can allow for lower detection limits.


Contact our laboratories

RPS has invested in a number of Agilent instruments with fully automated Gerstel robotic autosamplers combining headspace, thermal introduction and pre-treatment modules. These advantageous techniques can be coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, in order to tailor analysis to our clients' requirements, which can often be complex and diverse.


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