Wastewater Monitoring Key parameter TOC

Strict, New Requirements Solutions for reliable, daily TOC analysis

As a result of the implementation of the EU Industrial Emission Directive (IED), the total organic carbon (TOC) parameter is being introduced broadly into the monitoring of wastewater in various industries. In the industry documents regarding the best available technologies (BAT, BREF — Best Reference), the modern TOC parameter is preferred compared to the conventional chemical oxygen demand (COD) parameter.

Why is TOC preferred compared to COD?

  • TOC is subject to uniform regulation across Europe by the EN 1484 standard
  • There is no European norm for the COD parameter
  • The TOC does not rely on the use of very toxic compounds 
  • According to site-specific correlation factors, it is easily possible to convert the TOC values into the previously determined COD values in order to maintain a continuity between both systems

European BREF regulations are going to be integrated into national wastewater regulations in 2018/19 for a first selection of industry sectors. The parameter TOC now plays a central role for wastewater monitoring. For now, this primarily concerns the production of pulp, paper and board and the oil refining industries. Other industries are set to follow suit — especially the waste treatment sector, wood-based panel production and common wastewater treatment in the chemical industries. 

Overview of the new initial TOC/TNb target values in Germany for wastewater at the point of discharge per industry:

  • Pulp production TOC 12 kg/t and TNb 20 mg/l 
  • Paper and cardboard TOC 0.90 kg/t and TNb 20 mg/l
  • Oil refinery TOC 25 mg/l and TNb 20 mg/l

Daily Measurements of TOC

The measurement frequency of the TOC and TNb parameters (Total bound Nitrogen) will increase according to the new regulations. Now, wastewater samples have to be tested daily according to these parameters (2- or 24-hour mixed sample). Numerous direct discharge bodies are integrating the corresponding analyzer technique into their plant’s own wastewater testing laboratories. This is due to the fact that commissioning external providers at such a high testing rate makes little sense in terms of time and cost. The affected industries need immediate analysis solutions that are optimized for high throughput and rapid processing in the wastewater area, and that can be integrated into the existing analysis processes of the different companies in a cost-effective way.

Overcoming the Challenging TOC/TNAnalysis Requirements

With its multi N/C series, Analytik Jena offers an optimized solution for the simultaneous determination of the TOC and TNb parameters. As a result, the daily measurements prescribed by the European wastewater regulations will become a routine task. 

The multi N/C® series can also easily analyze wastewater samples containing particles or oil, which are common in the pulp processing and oil refining industries. Analytik Jena is the only company employing injection techniques in its catalytic high-temperature combustion devices, which almost entirely eliminate the risks of sample carry-over or particle clogging.

The most common way in various industries to measure TOC/COD in different wastewater streams is via cuvette test kits. This is a very laborious task since the operator has to use these test kits manually on each individual sample. There are a multitude more issues with these cuvette tests:

  • Measurement of only small number of samples
  • High regular cost for kits and slow measuring speed result in high cost per sample
  • Test kits required for different concentration ranges (problem of measurement accuracy and sensitivity)
  • High risk of operator errors
  • No simultaneous determination of TNb possible
  • Use of toxic chemicals in COD determination, danger for users and problem of environmentally sound disposal

By using systems of the multi N/C series you are able to increase the quality of results, simplifying your workflow and decrease your overall cost significantly. Simultaneously, compliance to wastewater norms and regulations – nationally and internationally – is almost a given.

Benefits of multi N/C for TOC/TNb determination:

  • High accuracy of results
  • High reproducibility of results
  • High sample throughput
  • Automation minimizes risk of human error
  • No harmful chemicals for the operators
  • Low cost of operation
  • Simultaneous TOC and TNb determination possible

No application is the same, no sample like the other. Analytik Jena provides you with tailor-made solutions for your analytical challenge – instrument, comprehensive technical and application expertise, method development and top-tier support.

Our TOC experts would be happy to advise you and help you optimally prepare for the new challenges in the monitoring of wastewater.

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Downloads Application examples for wastewater monitoring

TOC/TNb Determination in Refinery Effluents

Application Note

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TOC/TNb Determination in Pulp and Paper Process Effluents

Application Note

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multi N/C Series The multi N/C series offers TOC analyzers for fast and reliable determination of the sum parameters TOC and TNb in liquid and solid samples.

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