An autoanalyzer for real-time detection of benzene and volatile organic compounds in paper mills


Gas chromatography is commonly employed to detect gaseous pollutants. However, gaseous pollutants in paper mills are multicomponent and difficult to be detected and analyzed by gas chromatography. Therefore, we developed a novel autoanalyzer with an embedded supervisory system, with which multicomponent gaseous pollutants in paper mills can be detected in real time. The autoanalyzer was applied in two paper mills for the detections of the total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and benzene at five sampling sites. The detection results show that the TVOC concentrations in two mills exceed the standard severely, especially in mill A, which can be attributed to the application of pulping and bleaching chemicals. In addition, benzene is also detected in Mill A due to benzene release from the fluorescent brighteners in the papermaking section. The large amounts of TVOC detected in the sequencing batch reactor (SBR) equalization tank of Mill A are explained by their release from the biodegradation of wastewater.

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The research was supported by the Research Funds of Joint Research for International Cooperation on Scientific and Technological Innovation by MOST (2017YFE0184900), Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, China (201904010423), the National Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China [2019A1515011149], and Open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices (KFJJ201803).

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Correspondence to Wenhao Shen.

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Lin, Z., Shen, W., Tong, X. et al. An autoanalyzer for real-time detection of benzene and volatile organic compounds in paper mills. Environ Chem Lett 18, 1337–1343 (2020).

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  • Papermaking
  • Analyzer
  • Detection
  • TVOC
  • Benzene
  • Gaseous pollutant