Unknown Identification: A municipal water customer blamed the city water department for clogging up the filters on their convenience store soda fountain. The water department was vindicated after QCAnalytical characterized by FT-IR the yellow, pudding-like material to be ion exchange resin fines from the customer’s water purification system.
Mystery Residue: Some kind of a “creosote” residue would drip down onto recycled paper “egg-carton” packaging inserts as they passed through the drying furnace. The residue was dried overnight and identified using FTIR spectroscopy to be a hydrocarbon lubricating oil.
Mystery Material: A drinking water operator wondered what the “snow-globe-like” material coating cement structures within his clear well was. Microscopy showed that substance was clusters of beggiatoa bacteria which thrived on the sulfur in the drinking water source.
Unknown hazard: A swab of unknown residue leaking from a paint drying ventilation system was traced by FTIR and GC-MS analysis to ethylene ethylacrylate copolymer, a key component in some paints.
Unknown Process Residues: An oily substance from the vacuum side and an oily residue from the exhaust side of a process coater vacuum system were compared to various process oils and greases and matched to TKO-77 Ultra™ vacuum fluid on the vacuum side and Anderol™ 555 diester compressor lubricant on the exhaust side by FTIR spectroscopy.
Residue Comparison: A biodiesel plant wanted to check whether a production plant residue matched up to a biodiesel soap/wax residue. The unknown and soap/wax residue samples were similarly dried and burned in a muffle furnace. Both had the same percentage organic and inorganic makeup and additionally, FTIR further confirmed that the organic content of both was the same.
Unknown Waste: A waste water treatment plant got hit with some milky looking waste water. The mystery substance was extracted and identified by FTIR to be linoleic acid from an influx of vegetable oil.
Process Residue Quantitation: Different agents are used in natural gas drying operations. A client wanted to determine the composition of the drip condensate that collected from natural gas drying. Karl Fisher titration and FTIR spectroscopy determined the condensate to be 3.5% water, 87% motor oil, and 9-10% TEG.
Contaminant Source: An energy bar manufacturer wanted to know the source of the FOG in its wastewater. Was it from the peanut butter or the chocolate or the sunflower oil or the cocoa butter, etc.? The wastewater FOG was extracted and derivatized to form FAME’s which were identified and quantitated by GC-MS to track down the source of the FOG. It turned out that the FOG was a combination of all oily ingredients.