total organic carbon facts
Total organic carbon (TOC) is the total number of carbon present in an organic compound. It is often employed as a non-reliable indicator of the purity of medical equipment or food safety. TOC is helpful for various reasons, including determining the concentration of toxic substances in industrial waste, determining the presence of heavy metals in water supplies, and determining the levels of certain chemicals in the soil. However, accurate measures of this substance cannot be made unless the total concentration of all of its components is known. Therefore, we rely on models that use calculations based on the known values of TOC.
There are many reasons why accurate total organic carbon measurements are necessary for health and the environment. First, health risks posed by contaminants can be determined by obtaining an exact size of the concentration of each chemical or other agent in a sample. Health experts agree that it is necessary to determine how much exposure to a harmful substance an individual may have to take precautions. Second, the analysis can determine the presence of carcinogens or other health threats that might exist in the workplace or elsewhere. Third, when evaluating the performance of a manufacturing facility, analysis can determine whether or not waste disposal is proper and can indicate areas that require improvements.
TOC can be defined as “oxidation” or “carbon burning” in plants and animals. Carbon atoms are considered “free radicals” when they combine with oxygen molecules. When an organism is subjected to oxygen, either singly or in combination with other organic compounds, the free radicals cause chemical reactions that generate energy. Organic compounds with more electron charges will liberate more electrons, resulting in more energy. Carbon compounds that are more alkaline in nature will form less complex structures, while those that are more acidic will bond with other compounds and form acids.
The organic content can be determined by analyzing the ratio of the total number of oxygen molecules vs. the total number of carbon-containing compounds in the sample. The percentage content of oxygen and carbon determines both the stability of the sample and its ability to provide food for aerobic microorganisms (organisms that use oxygen as an energy source) in the environment. This type of testing also indicates the quality of the water supply for a community or region. The high percentage content of oxygen and carbon-containing compounds indicates a highly alkaline water supply. In contrast, a low percentage content indicates a slightly acidic water quality.
TOC measurement is usually carried out using either analytical methods or experimental apparatus known as a TLC Separator. The most common analytical method of assessing the total organic carbon (OC) content in a sample is Oxygen Consumption Detoxification (OCD). Under this method, a sample of water or aqueous solvent is passed through a semi-permeable layer coated with different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, resulting in the consumption of Ozone gas after some time.