Hot steam extraction of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds from air-sampling cartridges - ON-843

Project type: Innovation
Desired discipline(s): Chemistry, Natural Sciences
Company: LCS Laboratory Inc
Project Length: Longer than 1 year
Preferred start date: 11/01/2023
Language requirement: English
Location(s): London, ON, Canada
No. of positions: 1
Desired education level: Master'sPhDPostdoctoral fellowRecent graduate
Open to applicants registered at an institution outside of Canada: No

About the company: 

LCS Laboratory is a private testing, research, and consulting laboratory accredited to ISO 17025-2107 standard. Our area of expertise is Environmental Chemistry, Industrial Air Quality, Residential Air Quality, Material Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Hazardous Materials, Classification of Dangerous Goods. We operate a full-scale testing chemical laboratory and conduct about 2000 projects a year for Canadian and International clients.  

Describe the project.: 

We are looking for support in development and commercialization of a new technology of extraction, and analysis of volatile and semi volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) from custom build air sampling cartridges. Our innovative technology will employ hot steam of an organic solvent for extraction of broad range of analytes followed by rigorous analysis of the resulting condensate using Gas Chromatography.

Traditional air sampling technique employ extraction of trace VOC or SVOC from air on different types of adsorbents. Each group of VOC or SVOC requires separate sampling and analysis. Thus, the cost of a comprehensive air testing for broad range of VOC+SVOC becomes prohibitive.  

Our Technology:

  • Part 1. SVOC, and VOC are selectively extracted from air on a sampling device filled with several layers of different adsorbents organized in the order from weak adsorbent for heavy SVOC like tar, and followed by the strongest adsorbent capable to capture the most volatile VOC. This design would allow simultaneous sampling of the broadest range of analytes on a single device.
  • Part 2. The VOC and SVOC are purged out of the cartridge using hot steam of a solvent (methanol). The steam is further condensed turning into liquid extract suitable for analysis using a conventional analytical method.


  • Environmentally Friendly: Our technology will reduce the need for harmful Carbon Disulfide that is currently used as a solvent for extraction of the air sampling devices.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: Hot steam extraction ensures higher extraction rates, saving time and resources for laboratories and businesses.
  • Sensitivity: We expect that overall sensitivity of our analytical method will reach low ppb level which is 10-100 fold better than currently available.
  • Market Potential: The global market for VOC and SVOC analysis is growing, and our technology positions us to meet this rising demand.

Required expertise/skills: 

Knowledge of modern GC and HPLC Instruments. Experiment design. Understanding chemical and physical adsorption, its kinetics and equilibrium. Strong interest in analytical chemistry.