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What is Total Organic Carbon
Total organic carbon (TOC) is a term that has become quite popular in recent years, because it provides a number of useful results when it comes to how carbon is formed. Basically, carbon can be composed of one or more substances, which include oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and several others. However, the most common form of carbon is that which makes up the bulk of the Earth’s crust, known as “dioxide.” About two-thirds of the Earth’s carbon is made up of compounds known as methane, which is another common element. Carbon can also come in the form of organic compounds, such as in coal, oil, and gas deposits.
In contrast, the amount of total carbon on the planet is decreasing because of the widespread use of fossil fuels and other human activities. While the Earth obtains a certain amount of carbon through combustion of plants for energy, much of the carbon dioxide that humans produce goes into the air and is eventually absorbed into the ground. When scientists began to study the chemistry of carbon, they discovered that it was composed of two different compounds, which they called “precursors” and “derived precursors.” The precursor is the first carbon that is present in the Earth’s crust, while the derived precursor is carbon that has been previously dissolved in liquid. It is these different types of carbon that are used in different applications.
How TOC is Measured
An infrared spectrometer is used by someone who wants to test the purity of a substance, such as in a health-testing laboratory or even in a food processing plant to make sure that there are no impurities in their products. A carbon analyzer can also be used to measure the TOC in a sample. This is especially useful because of how it can determine the number of different elements present in a sample. A TIVA spectrum analyzer measures the total organic carbon in any substance, including oil, gas, water, and other gaseous substances. Both infrared detection and a TIVA spectrum analyzer can provide accurate data about the purity and concentration of any substance.
The TOC content is only one important component of data necessary to assess the amount of carbon present in a fossil fuel sample. Having the basic knowledge of where the carbon comes from, whether it come from inorganic or organic matter, is also of utmost importance. Carbon can be broken down into two major categories depending on where the carbon comes from carbon that has been taken from living organisms and carbon that come from the nonliving organic matter. To analysis may not reveal the true amount of Carbon present in fossil fuels unless the samples are analyzed for both types. In this case, a combination of analysis and measurement of Carbon can be used to get a more complete picture of what is present in the sample.
There are many common ways in which scientists test for and determine the amount of total organic carbon in samples. Many samples are tested using specialized instruments such as Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS), Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS/MS), Oxygen Gas Chromatography (OGC), and Fourier Transform Infrared Analysis (FTR). While each of these methods is effective for obtaining a detailed analysis, they have limitations. For example, the Gas Chromatography method can only determine the rate of molecules bonding with a specific metal ion and cannot determine other characteristics of the molecule such as total length, number of atoms, or even their energy spectrum. The main advantage of FTR analysis is that it can determine the presence of other chemical substances present in the sample; although this process does not work well with complex organic molecules and tends to give inaccurate results.