724-703-3020 1555 Coraopolis Heights Rd., Ste 4100, Coraopolis, PA 15108


Activated Carbon Bed Breakthrough Detector

Air Stream Sampler For Detecting Initial Organic Breakthrough

TIGG’s activated carbon bed sample stream breakthrough detector is designed for use with vapor-phase NIXTOX® up-flow or radial flow modular activated carbon adsorbers.

The the vapor phase activated carbon bed breakthrough detector is constructed of a clear acrylic tube, capped and diffusion-vented at both ends. The vapor phase activated carbon breakthrough detector allows for the air stream to be sampled at a point two-thirds of the way through the adsorbent bed.

It provides a visual signal that the activated carbon bed condition shows free organic or other oxidizable material at that level. This signal may then be used to increase the frequency of exhaust air analysis, replacement of the adsorbent, or the NIXTOX unit.

Detectors for radial flow units function in a similar way, but are externally mounted with a separate sample probe being used to monitor the two-thirds bed depth penetration.

The functional indicator is an oxidizing granular material suspended within the transparent tube. When an oxidizable substance reaches the breakthrough detector, a color change from violet to brown/black is clearly visible. A low humidity level is required in the air or gas being monitored for the oxidation reaction to occur. Most organics and some inorganics will react with the oxidant, irreversibly, at varied rates. Since the indicating material will also react in the presence of ultraviolet radiation, an opaque cover shield is provided. The shield is easily lifted to allow for inspection of the indicator.

The activated carbon bed Breakthrough Detector offers a number of operational advantages. During operation, the air stream is constantly being sampled. The breakthrough detector is on passive “stand-by” until being contacted by some contaminant in the stream. Other advantages are the early warning breakthrough, plus the minimization or elimination of chemical analyses by trained personnel. The Breakthrough Detector is an economical and effective monitoring system.

The sample stream activated carbon bed breakthrough detector is not selective. If a stream contains two or more oxidizable organics with different adsorption potentials, the indicator will react to the organic with the poorest adsorption characteristics. If there is a mixture of organics, and only the better-adsorbed materials are of interest, the indicator will provide a premature or false positive signal of breakthrough.

For more information about TIGG’s Activated Carbon Bed Breakthrough Detector, call 1-724-703-3020 or click here to contact us.


TIGG has over 40 years of experience in developing a broad range of activated carbon filters, adsorption equipment, and services for environmental remediation all over North America. We develop, design and manufacture equipment for the removal of trace contaminants from air, water, process liquids, and gases.