Monitoring of trace contaminants at the ppb level in bulk gases using tunable filter spectroscopy

Roberto Bosco, MKS Instruments (US)

The ability to accurately monitor trace levels of N2O, CO2, CO, THC, and H2O in bulk gases is critical to ensure gas quality.  Currently, Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) and Total Hydrocarbon – Flame Ionization Detector (THC – FID) analyzers dominate the market for measuring these gases.  However, these analyzers require constant calibration to ensure data quality.  MKS Instruments, Inc. MultiGas Tunable Filter Spectrometer (TFS) provides an alternative to the traditional analyzer technologies for trace hydrocarbon, moisture, CO, CO2 and N2O measurements, enabling low cost yet high performance analysis.  The analyzer is permanently calibrated, reducing the need for costly reference gas mixtures and does not require fuel mixtures such as those used for THC-FID analyzers.  The calibration stability is guaranteed through the use of a first-principle measurement technique and an advanced spectral processing algorithm that compensates for baseline variations.  It uses an innovative and patented tunable filter spectroscopy technology enabling highly selective and stable measurements.  This measurement technology provides spectral selectivity similar to FTIR analyzers, but with the simplicity and ease of operation of NDIR analyzers.  Part per billion detection limits are achieved for most gases through the use of high throughput optics coupled with a long-path gas cell and a high sensitivity detector.  Another benefit to the this technology is that all of the gases listed above can be measured in a single analyzer, simplifying the sampling handling and data acquisition system as well as the maintenance burden on gas plant operators.  Laboratory and field testing has shown exceptional performance and will be presented.


Pen Profile

Roberto holds a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from Tufts University and has worked in the analytical monitoring field for 17 years.  In October of 2014, Roberto began working for the MKS Process & Environmental Analysis business unit as an Application Engineer.  While in this position, he developed applications, and supported installations and product development efforts for the company’s fleet of optical based analyzers.  Roberto currently holds the position of Senior Product Marketing Manager, focusing on the MKS’ patented Tunable Filter Spectroscopy (TFS) platform.

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