New PAH and PCB Accreditation in Atmospheric Emissions
“Evolving towards what the industrial sector in our environment needs.” This is one of our mottos. We are attentive to what is happening around us, what concerns companies, and the challenges they face. Therefore, we study whether we can contribute with our knowledge, experience, facilities, and equipment. We analyse opportunities and, when one is apparent, we get to work to develop a new service, carry out a new project, or build a new facility.
This is how we started many years ago in 1997 with the creation of the IQS Environmental Laboratory which is specialized in the analysis of dioxins and furans (PCDD/F) in environmental samples and in human and animal food products. Unique in Spain at that time, the laboratory sought to serve the industrial sector and governmental entities in terms of pollution control. Within the framework of the collaboration with the Government of Catalonia, IQS constructed a building to house a new laboratory that was equipped with the necessary analytics, staff was trained that subsequently developed analytical methods, and we obtained the ENAC accreditations according to the UNE EN ISO 17025 standard.
Over the years, we have consistently grown and diversified the application of the high-resolution mass spectrometry technique with other analyses of persistent organic compounds in multiple matrices, always attentive to the needs of our environment and regulatory and legislative changes. This is how we recently achieved the extension of the ENAC accreditation, including the analysis of PCBs and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in atmospheric emissions.
Which companies could this interest? There are several industrial sectors that work with incineration or combustion processes and are required to carry out quality controls for their emissions. We know that most work with the best available techniques (BAT) according to the European Commission’s BREF for waste incineration to optimize processes for better air quality and, at the same time, optimal energy consumption. Among the parameters to be measured in atmospheric emissions are the following persistent organic pollutants: dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), benzo(a)pyrene (and possibly other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs), and dibenzo-p-dioxins and polybrominated dibenzofurans (PBDD/F).
With the new accreditation we can now carry out the following analyses regarding atmospheric emissions:
- PCDD/F according to UNE EN 1948 (Part 2 and 3)
- DL-PCB according to UNE EN 1948 (Part 4 + A1)
- NDL-PCB according to UNE EN 1948 (Part 4 + A1)
- PAHs according to UNE ISO 11338-2, including benzo(a)pyrene and other compounds as listed by the EPA.
Dr Núria Vallmitjana
Director of IQS Tech Transfer