µ-CTE: Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor


Sampling technology for fast screening of organic chemicals from products and raw materials.


The µ-CTE is a uniquely fast and cost-effective quality control (QC) tool for screening the levels of volatile and semi-volatile organic chemicals (VOCs and SVOCs) including formaldehyde coming out of products and raw materials. Typical sample types include wood-based products, plastic goods, insulation materials, electronics, foods, tobacco, decorative products, flooring materials, textiles and cleaning products. Operating anywhere between ambient temperature and a maximum of 250ºC, µ-CTE units comprise either four or six sample chambers which are simultaneously swept with a controlled and constant flow of air or inert gas. 

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The µ-CTE is a general-purpose micro scale device for measuring emissions from materials and it has  demonstrated that it shows good agreement with results from using conventional emission test-chamber methods [1], like larger scale climate-chambers described in the industrial standards. The µ-CTE can be used with sorbent tubes for VOC testing or connected via valves or a valve cluster (ALV08/12) to an AL4021 for formaldehyde analysis. 
This setup can be used for the quality control (QC) of formaldehyde to establish an acceptable emission level in the production line of wood based and other products.

Four chambers of a µ-CTE connected by valves to an Aero-Laser AL4021 for fast formaldehyde screening. .

The thermal extraction method evaporates the total formaldehyde content. When the concentration is plotted vs. time, this results in a concentration peak with exponential decay. The total formaldehyde content is given by the integral over this peak. The figure below shows typical emission peaks of thermal extraction at 120°C (parts of smurfs, plastic toys).

HCHO content determined for two samples of plastic toys (smurfs) with the µ-CTE by thermal extraction at 120°C. The total HCHO content is calculated from the integral over the peaks.

[1]    T. Schripp, B. Nachtwey, J. Toelke, T. Salthammer, E. Uhde, M. Wensing, M. Bahadir, A microscale device for measuring emissions from materials for indoor use, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 387 (2007) 1907