HC Measurements by Means of Flame Ionization: Background and Limits of Low Emission Measurement
Flame Ionization Detectors (FID) can be used to detect organic hydrocarbons that occur in plastics, lacquers, adhesives, solvents and gasoline. These substances are ionized in the hydrogen flame of the FID. The ionization current that is produced depends on the amount of hydrocarbon in the sample. With the lowering of emissions limits, measuring instruments, including the FID, have to be able to detect very low values. For SULEV (Super-Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) measurements the accuracy and also the general applicability of the CVS (Constant Volume Sampling) measuring technique are now questioned. Basic understanding is necessary to ask the right questions. One important issue is the science behind the measurement principle of the FID. And in this case especially the influence of contamination of the operating gases, cross sensitivity and data processing on the Limit of Detection (LOD).