Gas sample analysis

Whether you conduct fire science research, analyze emissions, or need to verify the purity of gases for semiconductor manufacturing, FTIR spectroscopy provides the insight you need to advance your research or keep your business competitive. FTIR spectroscopy produces a spectrum for gas samples that represents the molecular absorption and transmission response to certain wavelengths of light, creating a molecular “fingerprint” of the sample. This makes the technique useful for applications that require: 

  • High sensitivity from parts per trillion to percent
  • Real-time measurements
  • Monitoring of hundreds of compounds simultaneously 
  • High dynamic range 
  • Continuous monitoring of gas samples in environmental or process applications
  • Fully automated monitoring with no need for calibration
Gas analysis methods

The Air Bag method analyzes the effluent emitted during air bag inflation. Detection limits assume a collection time of 2 minutes with a room-temperature DTGS detector.

Measuring challenging compounds like ethylene oxide requires technology that avoids false alarms for benign interferences and meets standards from regulatory bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Successful ambient air monitoring requires the ability to discriminate target compounds down to single-digit ppb even in the presence of high concentrations of interferences, such as water, solvents and hydrocarbons.

The Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen (ABO) method is designed to detect impurities in ABO gas according to the US Air Force military standard 1564A. This method is used with the 10-meter gas cell. Detection limits assume a collection time of 2 minutes with a room-temperature DTGS detector.

Measurement of trace contaminates in N2, O2, H2, Ar, Kr, and CO2 used in semiconductor, medical, food and beverage and energy. FTIR can simultaneously measure a wide range of contaminants down to single-digit parts per billion, and down to double-digit parts per trillion for certain semiconductor applications, using advanced technologies like StarBoost™. In addition, system-level product offerings are easily automated, providing multichannel sampling and factory reporting.

The Compressed Breathing Air (CBA) method analyzes CBA for impurities. This method is used with the 10-meter gas cell. Detection limits assume a collection time of 2 minutes with a room-temperature DTGS detector.

Raw exhaust methods provide measurement of engine exhaust emissions from either spark-ignition or diesel engines. These methods cover concentration ranges found in the exhaust gas without dilution, with gas samples taken either before or after the catalytic converter. Gasoline vs Diesel methods differ in the concentration range of several components, as diesel exhaust differs from spark-ignition engine exhaust due to excess air. FTIR is an excellent technique to study Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) compounds, including NO, NO2, N2O, and NH3. These methods are configured with the Thermo Scientific 2-meter gas cell and a liquid-nitrogen cooled MCT-A detector. Detection limits are based on a 3-second sample time.

The fire science method is configured to analyze toxic gases generated during the combustion of building materials, including those defined under the EN 45545-2 Railway smoke toxicity standard. The method can be used with cone calorimeters, smoke boxes, or ambient sampling of combustion experiments. The FTIR is configured with a heated 2-meter pathlength cell for most fire science applications, or a longer-path 10-meter cell may be used for diluted samples. Detection limits are based on a 3-second sample time with a liquid-nitrogen cooled MCT-A detector.

Ideal for a wide range of in-process monitoring applications, FTIR provides automated end-product quality assurance in the semiconductor industry, chemical manufacturing, and air separation. Because FTIR is an optical technology that requires no calibration it can run for months or longer without any intervention. This dramatically reduces operating cost and is ideal for production facilities or remote locations.

FTIR is an excellent technique for analyzing gases generated by new renewable energy developments, such as pyrolysis of wood chips or anaerobic digestion of garbage or manure. Synfuels and biogases produce environmental emissions, such as methane and other potentially harmful gases, during power generation. They also cause harmful effects on the combustion chambers or compressors. Hydrogen gas used for fuel cells must be pure of contaminants which can be detected using FTIR. FTIR spectroscopy offers powerful capabilities to analyze hydrogen, synfuel and biogas components, enabling researchers to optimize their gas generation and collection techniques.

Gas applications that require high accuracy and stable calibrations can benefit from FTIR strengths. FTIR gas analysis can be used in specialty gas manufacturing, semiconductor purity testing, and identification of contaminants in O2 or breathing air.

Thermo Scientific provides some of the most powerful hardware and software tools in the industry for source emissions analyses in chemical manufacturing, medical sterilization, source testing, semiconductor fabrication, gas-fired turbines, cement manufacturing, and automotive production. Whether you are running a small source testing business or looking to implement factory test methods globally, we have the FTIR solution to meet your needs. With our in-depth application knowledge, we provide real-world solutions that have you up and running on day one. This includes support for installation, QA/QC, regulatory requirements, and data validation.

Gas analysis instruments


Antaris IGS

Nicolet iG50



MAX-Bev Gen2


Bulk Gas System

Air bag





Ambient air (EH&S)






Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen



Compressed breathing air


Exhaust emissions






Fire science






Bulk gas monitoring





Industrial process



Renewable energy


Specialty gases


Source emissions

FTIR gas analyzers

We offer a full line of robust gas analyzers to meet your testing requirements—from flexible, general-purpose laboratory systems to rugged systems designed for heavy use in industrial environments. Turnkey calibrations for standard gas applications provide accurate measurements of key environmental gases with customized solutions available for unique applications. 

We are a leader in developing FTIR gas analysis technology for in-processes monitoring, source testing, and ambient air monitoring. Our high-precision gas analysis products and systems not only push the limits of detection but are also exceptionally reliable and easy-to-use. 

Thermo Scientific MAX-iR FTIR Gas Analyzer
Thermo Scientific MAX-iR FTIR Gas Analyzer

Reinvented with detection limits in single-digit parts per billion for most applications, the MAX-iR routinely provides accurate gas contaminant measurements even in the presence of a wide range of interferences, and produces results in real-time. With Thermo Scientific StarBoost technology, MAX-iR analyzers can now drive into mid parts per trillion, challenging the use of traditional technologies that are slower and more costly to operate.

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Thermo Scientific Antaris IGS FTIR Gas Analyzer
Thermo Scientific Antaris IGS FTIR Gas Analyzer

Use this rugged FTIR spectrometer as the standard platform for dedicated applications such as environmental monitoring of combustion gases.
The system can be operated manually for discrete tests or integrated into a digital control system (DCS) for automated operation.

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Thermo Scientific MAX-iAQ FTIR Ambient Air Monitoring System
Thermo Scientific MAX-iAQ FTIR Ambient Air Monitoring System

This is a factory-ready, fully-automated ambient air monitoring solution for multipoint low-level detection, even in high humidity environments. The fully automated system can quantify 10-100+ compounds from up to 20 sample locations using FTIR spectral analysis.

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Thermo Scientific Bulk Gas Certification System
Thermo Scientific Bulk Gas Certification System

This multi-analyzer and multi-channel system is designed for bulk gas certification, trace impurity analysis, and process monitoring. The system is appropriate for a wide range of bulk gases, including HyCO, nitrogen, helium, and carbon dioxide.

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Thermo Scientific MAX-ASC-10 Automated Sampling Console
Thermo Scientific MAX-ASC-10 Automated Sampling Console

This console is a gas sampling system that will heat and multiplex sample, zero gas, and calibration gas streams automatically. It can handle hot and wet samples while coupling to nitrogen and calibration streams using a single sampling pump and particulate filter.

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Thermo Scientific MAX-Bev Gen2 CO2 Purity Monitoring System
Thermo Scientific MAX-Bev Gen2 CO2 Purity Monitoring System

Quickly assure gaseous CO2 meets all ISBT (International Society of Beverage Technologists) required purity standards using this fully automated system. In addition to quantifying over 20 impurities, the MAX-Bev is the only commercially available system capable of accurate percent CO2 measurements, eliminating the need for tubes or wet chemistry. System can also be configured with O2 sensor. 

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Thermo Scientific EMS-10 Continuous Emissions Monitoring System
Thermo Scientific EMS-10 Continuous Emissions Monitoring System

This system is a turnkey solution for continuous emission monitoring from a wide variety of stationary sources. The integrated design incorporates a 4-channel sample multiplexer, industrial PC with factory automation software, and the MAX-iR FTIR Gas Analyzer.

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Thermo Scientific Nicolet iG50 FTIR Spectrometer
Thermo Scientific Nicolet iG50 FTIR Spectrometer

Use this customizable FTIR spectrometer for sampling flexibility in applications which require adaptable sampling parameters or unusual sampling configurations. Mix and match optical components to record and focus the IR beam directly at your sample.

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Thermo Scientific Antaris FTIR Gas Conditioning and Analysis System
Thermo Scientific Antaris FTIR Gas Conditioning and Analysis System

We offer a variety of gas sampling options to meet the demands of different applications. Use this complete rack-mounted FTIR spectrometer that offers portability and an integrated conditioning manifold system to deliver a turnkey solution for a wide range of industrial environments.

For more information please contact Jay Roberts at

Gas analysis webinars on-demand

Recently approved US EPA regulations address air quality and point source emissions from industries that use ethylene oxide (EtO). Companies must prepare to adopt new equipment and controls for monitoring EtO in compliance with updated NESHAP guidelines.

OE-FTIR spectroscopy stands out for its ability to analyze EtO emissions at concentrations as low as 1 ppb, even in challenging sample matrices off a stack. This webinar explains in depth how OE-FTIR technology can be used to provide high-quality data, even amid interferences and sample variability, and in turn help facilities that use EtO achieve compliance with new stricter standards.

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Applying OE-FTIR for Compliance with Ethylene Oxide (EtO) Emissions Test Methods

US EPA methods for measuring hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) in ambient air include TO-14a and TO-15. Traditionally for these methods, samples have been collected in specially prepared “Summa type” canisters and transported to a laboratory for analysis by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). GC-MS allows for speciation and quantification of many HAPs and non-HAPs within the sample at ppm to ppb levels, but in many cases, the customer must wait weeks for a result. Novel technologies have been recently developed that allow for 10s - 100s of compounds to be monitored simultaneously in real-time by FTIR gas analysis. Similar detection limits as those required in TO-14a/TO-15 can be achieved within 1 minute with minimal concern for sample integrity. This presentation will discuss both the hardware and software advances that now allow for ambient air monitoring of HAPs in real-time by FTIR.

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Hazardous Air Pollution Detection using GC-MS Alternative

FTIR spectroscopy offers several advantages for monitoring gases produced in industrial production, including combustion emissions. The advantages include the ability to measure multiple gases simultaneously, rapidly, and continuously. This webinar explains practical considerations for use of FTIR for online monitoring as well as common errors and pitfalls that must be avoided for accurate results.

Topics include:

  • Overview of FTIR for gas analysis
  • Comparison of FTIR with other techniques
  • Sample handling considerations
  • Automated continuous operation

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Advantages of Monitoring Industrial Gases using Online FTIR Spectroscopy

FTIR spectroscopy is a robust analytical method that can monitor multiple compounds in exhaust gases online with low detection limits and rapid response. This webinar reviews the challenges industrial chemists and engineers experience in assessing gaseous products of combustion found in:

  • Engines and catalytic converter design: Ability to measure 5 samples/second when reducing NOx emissions in the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) cycle using ammonia or urea (NH3)
Rapid Combustion Analysis using FTIR Spectroscopy
  • Powerplants and cement factories: Need to analyze HCl and SO2 emissions to meet stringent regulatory standards
  • Materials fire-safety testing: Need to rapidly identify toxic breakdown products (such as HCl, HF, HBr, or CH2O) for safety considerations

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Online FTIR instrumentation provides a flexible, practical analytical technique as manufacturing facilities implement advanced diagnostics and environmental monitoring of their industrial gas streams. From continuous emission monitoring (CEM) to semiconductor gas purity monitoring at parts-per-billion contaminant levels, FTIR offers researchers an invaluable window into the chemical composition of their gas streams. This webinar introduces

Fundamentals of Industrial Gas Analysis using FTIR Spectroscopy

listeners to the fundamental strengths, weaknesses, pros and cons of industrial FTIR analysis, with example applications and comparisons to competing techniques.

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FTIR spectroscopy may be useful for engineers and scientists involved in renewable energy research, such as anaerobic digestion of landfill or agricultural products to evolve methane for generation of electricity. FTIR can be used to monitor major components (CH4, CO, CO2), contaminants (siloxanes, acids such as HCl), and combustion products (NO, NO2, N2O). This webinar 

FTIR for Gas-phase Synfuels and Biogas Applications

provides an introduction to FTIR for biogas analysis, including sampling considerations and factors in quantitative analysis.

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Scientists in the field of fire safety or fire protection engineering analyze the combustion gases evolved when a material burns under different conditions. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy provides fire safety engineers a useful analytic tool for online analysis of as many as 25 gas species of interest, including highly toxic acids such as HF, HCl, or HCN. Depending on the system configuration,

Fire Science Gas Analysis by FTIR

detection limits of low parts per million (ppm) may be sampled to monitor evolved gases continuously.

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This webinar explores how New European railway/transportation regulations (EN 45545-2) impact safety standards and gas testing, and how online FTIR can be used as an alternative to other common techniques for multi-component analysis.

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Analysis of Smoke Toxicity using FTIR Spectroscopy

New advances in FTIR gas analysis technology enable real-time gas measurements at low ppb to mid ppt levels which rivals the sensitivity of GC-based techniques. This webinar covers the new hardware and applications in FTIR gas analysis.

Fundamentals of Industrial Gas Analysis using FTIR Spectroscopy

The measurement of ethylene oxide (EO) from stationary sources is performed around the world, and interest peaks anytime there are proposed changes or additions to emission and exposure standards. Low level ethylene oxide (EO) monitoring presents many challenges such as analysis in the low ppb range, speed of analysis, reliability, and dependable QA/QC.

Watch this webinar to learn more about monitoring challenges with EO and how they can be easily managed with ultra-sensitive FTIR-based CEM systems.

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Ethylene Oxide Source Emissions Monitoring

Worker exposure to toxins in ambient air and related regulations are an increasing concern for industry. A disruptive new technique – OE-FTIR – combines the advantages of FTIR gas analysis with detection limits down to low-ppb or even ppt!

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Air quality through new OOE-FTIR technology

FTIR gas analysis helps to analyze LiB breakdown failures due to mechanical failure, overheating, or overvoltage.  Electrolyte break-down products such as HF may be analyzed directly as they evolve, without sample collection/pre-treatment.  Learn how the Thermo Fisher Scientific gas analysis solution meets European regulatory standards for smoke toxicity/safety standards.

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Analysis of Gas Emissions from Lithium-ion Battery Failures

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