CiGAS-CH is the Swiss node of the Topical Centre for Reactive Trace Gases In Situ Measurements (CiGas). CiGas offers state-of-the art operational support to ACTRIS National Facilities (NFs) and exploratory platforms, which are operating instrumentation for continuous long-term measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), condensable vapours and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the atmosphere.
Empa is mainly responsible for performing quality checks to data before final submissions. For this task Empa has developed a specific electronic tool: @VOC@ (ATmospheric VOC Assessment Tool). With the help of this tool it is straightforward to identify potential mistakes in the annual dataset before submission. The tool is based on collocation of VOC sources and subsequent common peak events at measurement sites. @VOC@ is available on personal request.
Furthermore, Empa supports other CiGAS units in promoting and testing new technologies for the analysis of VOCs and in calibrating real-air standards used as target gases. For this purpose a specific gas chromatograph-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) is used in the laboratory of Empa in Dübendorf. In addition, Empa performs regular training sessions for checking the quality of VOC measurements and their uncertainty.
Image 1: The GC-FID system for the analysis of non-methane hydrocarbons and oxygenated VOCs.
Image 2: @VOC@ outcome for checking VOC data within ACTRIS