Analysis of Environmentally Important Materials

CAPTO (Controlled-Atmosphere Programmed-Temperature Oxidation) is an oxidative degradation thermal method capable of analyzing a wide range of materials. Some materials that can be analyzed include:


High Molecular Weight Polymers

Oil Shales

Mineral Sulfides and Carbonates

A sample is diluted with an inert solid, packed into a quartz tube and is subjected to a linear increase in temperature along with an oxidative atmosphere flowing through it. Distinctive gas evolution profiles result from the oxidative degradation of the sample and the gases are analyzed by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectroscopy.

The current multiple sample system:

Allows four independent samples to be analyzed at one time

Uses one FTIR and four gas sample cells with cell positioning system

Is able to operate in oxidation or pyrolysis mode

Current work with CAPTO is centered on the thermal analysis of mine overburden, which represents a new approach to predicting post mining water quality. The method has been successfully used to accurately evaluate synthetic mixtures of the alkaline and acidic sources found in overburden. A successful field test of this method should lead to better predictions of post mining water quality from one analysis and at a lower cost.