Total organic carbon (TOC) is the most prominent of these techniques and is most often used to measure biological content or contamination of water samples, both from water treatment facilities, pharmaceutical facilities, and drinking water. Through either direct or subtractive measurement involving total carbon, TOC quantifies the amount of organic material in liquid or solid samples. For TOC, several methods are used to determine total organic carbon content, the most common of which are combustion and persulfate oxidation. Generally speaking, combustion methods are used where particulate content or carbon content is expected to be high, as in wastewater.
TOC analyzers are used in biotechnology and pharmaceutical operations to check the purified water as well as to ensure there is no cross-contamination between drugs. Furthermore, it has been found that low TOC in the pipelines controls the growth of endotoxins and microbes and thus biofilms within the manufacturing process.
Other sum parameter measurements include total nitrogen or total bound nitrogen (TN, TbN), total adsorbable or extractable organic halogens (TOX, AOX, EOX), total sulfur (TS), and many others. For the purposes of this post we have divided the market into TOC and TOC/TN instruments and other sum parameter instruments, with the major components of that second category being nitrogen-only instruments, followed by the various halogen analyzers.
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