Volatile Organic Compounds & Odors

When a major fragrance manufacturer approached Alliance Technologies, they were trying to determine the identity of a volatile contaminant in a concentrated orange oil from South America.  Despite assurances from the supplier, the client was concerned that the contaminant might have been related to some residual pesticides.  Although the client had a number of internal analytical capabilities, they approached Alliance Technologies for two reasons: first, because of Alliance’s experience with phosphate containing pesticides, and second, because of Alliance’s breadth of analytical instrumentation.  Using gas chromatography and a nitrogen-phosphorus detector (GC-NPD), a number of GC separations were performed to optimize the separation so that the unknown compound could be isolated.

The EPA 24 test protocol specifies the test method for the determination of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in paints and coatings regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Using classical gravimetric tests like loss on drying (LOD), Karl Fisher titration (KF), or gas chromatography with a thermal conductivity detector (GC-TCD), moisture and volatile solvents can be assayed.   In addition to a variety of other analytical techniques, VOC’s can be routinely tested by Alliance Technologies.   Whether our clients need testing for regulatory compliance of new products or legacy formulations, Alliance Technologies has provided VOC testing in a variety of different products beyond paints and coatings.

When a fire victim turned to Alliance Technologies for chemical testing, she was concerned about an odor on clothing that had been recently cleaned.  Submitting a pair of pants exposed to the cleaning and a new pair from an upscale retailer, Alliance Technologies used headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS) to identify volatile odors from the 2 samples.  Based on the testing, trichloroethylene (TCE), a common chlorinated hydrocarbon used as an industrial dry cleaning solvent, was identified.  Using state-of-the-art instrumentation, Alliance Technologies was able to help this client determine her risk to chemical exposure.

Alliance Technologies has a number of ways to characterize odors and volatile chemicals, including:

  • Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Gas Chromatography (GC-FID, GC-TCD, GC-MS)
  • Karl Fisher titration (KF)
  • Ultraviolet Spectroscopy (UV)

Alliance Technologies provides chemical and materials testing for the chemical process (e.g. measuring levels of H2S released during a reaction), paints, coatings and cleaners (EPA 24 VOC), litigation support (e.g. product liability or personal injury), and more.  With years of analytical testing experience, Alliance Technologies is capable of tackling your most challenging problems. Contact us for your free quote today!