Ethylene oxide is a highly flammable and toxic gas which is the main precursor in the production of Ethylene glycol but also widely used in the medical sterilization. The Ethylene oxide sterilization is applied on medical and pharmaceutical products which cannot resist the high temperature ranges in usual steam sterilization processes. Certain products in the food industry are sterilized in the same way. Ethylene oxide gas penetrates the packaging as well as the product and kills all microorganisms which remain from manufacturing and packaging processes.
The challenge in handling Ethylene oxide is mainly the safety of the personnel which is working with this chemical. Due to its harmful effects to the human body this is a very important aspect, because Ethylene oxide is carcinogenic and acute toxic when inhaled. Areas where Ethylene oxide is applied have to be equipped with gas detectors at different locations to detect possible leakages and avoid employees to be threatened. Therefore it is necessary to monitor Ethylene oxide at concentration levels around 100 ppb.
The GC-PID based on Photo-Ionization has been developed for the high sensitive detection of volatile and gaseous organic compounds. The coupling of the PID technology together with a gas-chromatographic (GC) preseparation provides the possibility to reach an outstanding sensitivity and prevents the system from influences coming from the matrix, such as cross sensitivities, to a large extent. So this technology is capable to combine the two most important properties for an application like that: Selectivity and Sensitivity.
Instead of collecting samples using pumps and adsorbers and their analytical treatment in the lab afterwards, which is the standard method, the PID-Analyzer offers a real online Ethylene oxide concentration monitoring on-site including all occurring maxima. Furthermore the PID-Analyzer is exactly the right technology for measuring tasks like this, because it is also capable of interacting with any higher-level equipment, such as PLC, audible and visible alarm systems.