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2012 TOC Analyzers Survey Results

TOC (total organic carbon) analyzers are a mainstay of environmental and quality control chemistry.

by Lab Manager

TOC (total organic carbon) analyzers are a mainstay of environmental and quality control chemistry. TOC, a crucial metric in many processes, may arise from a combination of living or dead organisms or chemical contamination. Its measurement can serve as a surrogate for more difficult measurements or a screen for further analysis.

5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a TOC Analyzer

  1. Is the TOC technology suitable for your specific application or water conditions? Many TOC technologies may be suitable only for waters with a narrow range of organic or inorganic contaminants.
  2. Are different models available to meet your current and future sampling needs (i.e. online, portable, laboratory)? Do these models use similar technology to simplify method transfer or data comparability from lab to online?
  3. Does the company offer the documentation and support necessary to help meet applicable industry or government regulations?
  4. What is the company’s level of experience supporting sales of TOC analyzers in your specific industry? Do they understand the unique challenges specific to your application?
  5. What type of service, applications, and technical support are available during and after the purchasing process?


Top 11 features/benefits survey respondents look for in TOC analyzers:
Ease of use 99%
Accuracy and performance of results 98%
Continuous analysis and rapid display updates 98%
Ease of installation 98%
Low maintenance costs 98%
Service and support provided by vendor 98%
Small footprint/size 98%
Speed of analysis 98%
Warranty 98%
No gases or reagents to handle 97%
Real-time continuous monitoring, no time-consuming batch measurements 95%


Instrument technologies being used in readers’ labs for online TOC analyzers:
High Temperature Catalytic/Combustion Oxidation (HTCO) 44%
Heated Persulfate Ultraviolet (UV) Oxidation 35%
Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) 6%
Patented Two-Stage Advanced Oxidation (TSAO) Process using Hydroxyl Radicals 4%
Other 11%


Methods used by respondents to detect resultant CO2:
Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) 71%
Direct Conductometric (Non-Selective Conductometric) 17%
Membrane Conductometric Detection (Selective Conductometric) 9%
Other 3%


Types of TOC analyzers being used by survey respondents:
Benchtop 54%
Online 50%
Portable 7%


Percentage of labs that have difficulties in ensuring efficient oxidation of the organic carbon:
No 93%
Yes 7%


Percentage of labs where compliance with Title 21 CFR Part 11 is important for TOC analysis:
No 82%
Yes 18%


For more information on TOC Analyzers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers,

See the most recent survey results