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PTR-TOF Air Quality Monitoring at Analytica 2022

A typical day on the floor at the Analytica trade show

The Analytica trade show took place June 21-24, 2022 and attracted more than 25000 visitors in 5 exhibition halls. We were demonstrating real-time trace gas analysis with one of our extremely sensitive PTR-TOF VOC analyzers. One of our favorite “magic tricks” is interpreting breath samples of visitors to predict the food they consumed, their smoking habits and other markers that leave traces in exhaled breath VOCs. At least as interesting were the VOC concentrations from the inhaled air, i.e. the trend of VOCs in the ambient air. We were running a second sample inlet day and night, looking at concentration variations of typical VOCs present in a hall where at daytime crowds were gathering and at night it was predominately empty.

As opposed to traditional GC-MS the IONICON PTR-TOF technology allows for analyzing VOCs at a very high time resolution and covers lowest concentrations at the same time. Dynamic changes that happen in seconds are recorded and with the samples being drawn continuously.


That’s what we found in the air

Figure 1 (Siloxanes): On a typical day at the trade show D5-Siloxane, likely from personal care products, increases in correlation to visitor traffic, spiking around 11 am, then dropping continuously when presumably the products' effects start to wear off. The next day’s morning they go up again as the crowds arrive.

Figure 2 (VOCs): At night, doors and windows closed for the tiny hours, HVAC systems powered low or off? Typical VOCs from carpets and exhibition materials begin to accumulate. The next morning, doors reopened, triggering a rapid decrease, captured with a PTR-TOF 1000 real-time analyzer.

Figure 3 (Siloxanes): The Analytica 2022 D5-Siloxane pattern is repeating itself, as expected. Going up in the early morning, peaking before noon and then dissipating for the rest of the day.