Introduction to Flame Ionization

A Flame-Ionization Detector (FID) measures real-time concentrations of organic vapors in low levels from parts-per-billion (ppb) up to 50,000 parts-per-million (ppm). A FID is a very sensitive instrument used in a wide variety of applications such as:

  • Hazardous waste sites
  • Clean-up of spills
  • Protecting workers from toxic vapors
  • Refineries
  • Leak detection for compliance
  • Pulp and paper plants
  • Hazardous materials response
  • Terrorist chemical attacks

How Does an FID Work?

FIDs, like PIDs, are ionization detectors. The difference between them is the way ions are produced. In our "introduction to PIDs" section you learned that PIDs use high energy Ultra Violet light to ionize molecules. FIDs do not use ultra violet light, instead the compounds in the sample stream are burned in a hydrogen fueled-flame. The hydrogen flame can ionize any organic material with an ionization potential (IP) of 15.4 or less. Like the PID, ions formed in the sample stream are driven in one direction by a bias electrode and accumulated at a collecting electrode. The ion current is then amplified and converted to a meter readout (analog or digital, depending on the model FID) in parts-per-million.

Flame Ionization Detector (PID)

Flame Ionization (FID) - Hydrogen supply (99.999% pure) used, sample must contain at least 10% oxygen content to support the flame, flame ignitor, +300V polarizing voltage, collector electrode: the iron current is collected, amplified, and converted to ppm readings on the display.

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RKI Eagle 2

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Landtec GEM5000

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The GEM5000 is the latest in the line of Landtec's GEM landfill gas analyzers. Now lighter, smaller, more accurate, and with an improved user interface, the only instrument you need to take into the field just got even better.

Levelogger 5

Water Level Datalogger

Advanced and durable, the Levelogger Edge is the latest water level datalogger from Solinst. An all new sensor design manages to achieve excellent accuracy while being more robust then previous models and remaining economical.

RAE MiniRAE 3000

Handheld PID Monitor

RAE Systems PIDs are known worldwide for their incredible reliability, accuracy, and features. The MiniRAE 3000 is the latest flagship model featuring the widest range of any handheld PID available and built in correction factors for over 200 compounds.

MultiRAE Series

Multiple Threat Monitor

The MultiRAE Series of handheld gas detectors includes three models for detection of up to six threats simultaneously. Choose from 25 toxic sensors, 3 PID sensors with a 9.8 eV lamp option, and even a gamma radiation sensor.

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