UT 3000 Ultra Tracer Mercury Vapor Detector

Measurement of Total Gaseous Mercury in Air or Other Gases at Ultratrace Levels
(ppq - parts per quadrillion)


UT 3000 Mercury Ultra Tracer

  • Atomic Absorption with Proprietary MI GoldTrap technology
  • Advanced AA photometer with stabilized Hg EDL lamp
  • Display of real-time signal reading
  • Display of results in bar graph
  • Data Logger
  • Exports data to PC
  • Optional Auto-Calibrate
  • Pollution prevention
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Membrane Key pad
  • Liquid Crystal Display

Mercury Monitoring Application

The UT-3000 Mercury UltraTracer provides a compact and reliable tool for measuring mercury in gases at ultra trace levels. Utilizing the high performance GoldTrap amalgamation module and an optimized state of the art AA mercury vapor detector the UT-3000 UltraTracer offers detection limits at sub-ng/m³ (ppq-parts per quadrillion) levels

mercury monitoring on natural gas rig

Applications include:

  • Air quality studies
  • Monitoring of indoor air pollution
  • Environmental pollution source Tracking
  • Plume profiling
  • Studies of mercury dispersion in the atmosphere
  • Studies of interaction between atmosphere and surfaces
  • Pollution prevention
  • Natural gas and derivatives
  • Hydrogen and other gases
  • Soil and ground degassing studies

Hg Measuring Principle

The sample gas is fed into an optical cell by a maintenance-free membrane pump. A beam of UV light passes through the optical cell, a part of it is absorbed by the mercury atoms present in the sample. This method is called atomic absorption spectroscopy; or shortly AAS. It is extremely selective and sensitive. For mercury determination the AAS method has maintained its importance even if other
methods have been worked out since the early beginnings. The AAS method is low in interference and does not require an amalgamation step or expensive carrier gases.

Mercury Monitoring in Natural Gas and LNG

Mercury is a frequent constituent of natural gas. It can be found in concentrations from a few µg/m³ up to 10000 µg/m³. An important application for the UT-3000 is the measurement of mercury in
natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). A special version of the UT-3000 analyzer is dedicated for measurement of mercury in natural gas. Both a manual system using the Tedlar® Bag Technique as well as an automatic system for on-line installations are available.

Click here to Download more information about the natural gas application (8 pages)

Automated Mercury Detector Operation

The UT-3000 operates automatically. All functions are controlled by an embedded microprocessor. Once the analysis has been started, measurements are performed and data is collected by the built-in data logger. With standard settings the data logger has a recording capacity of 4 weeks.

measuring mercury air quality measuring mercury from tedlar bag

Measurement of urban air quality measurement of air sample from Tedlar® Bag

GoldTrap Amalgamation System

For use in the UT-3000 a new trapping system has been developed: the Mercury GoldTrap, which is one of the key components of the system. It consists of a wafer thin ceramic tube which has been carefully crafted to achieve minimum thermal inertia. The tube has been packed with ultrapure gold and supports a heating coil on its outside. The Mercury GoldTrap reveals sharp and high peaks and an excellent long-term stability. As air is used for purging the trap during the heating step, possible contaminations are oxidized and swept off thus preventing from passivation.

UT 3000 Ultra Trace Mercury Vapor Analyzer

Atomic Absorption Detector

The detector used in the UT-3000 provides a maximum of sensitivity, precision and stability. A high
frequency driven electrodeless mercury low pressure lamp is used as UV light source. It generates a 253.7 nm emission line of an extremely narrow bandwidth which is congruent with the absorption line of the Hg atoms measured. The reference beam method is applied to get an exceedingly high stability of the UV source. The mercury concentration is measured in an optical cell which has been made entirely of fused silica (Suprasil). Thanks to the sensitivity enhancement provided by the GoldTrap there is no need for a long path cell which always has a greater surface effect. Recent solid state UV detectors with subsequent digital signal processing are used for absorption measurement.

Mercury Sampling

It is essential that the trap is free of mercury before sampling. This is ensured by a cleaning step which is automatically performed. To keep particles out of the system and to protect the trap from passivation, a filter is installed upstream the sample inlet. The filter is made of low-interactive material; the filter membrane has a porosity of 0.45 µm and is made of PTFE. The complete filter unit is easily replaceable.

UT 3000 sampling diagram

Mercury in Natural Gas UT 3000 Video

Mercury Sample Flow Control

The sample flow is measured with a high precision electronic mass flow meter. The flow rate integrated over time gives the total sample volume. The flow is automatically changed to a lower value during the desorption step to achieve maximum sensitivity.

UT-3000: Flow diagram

Mercury Instruments UT 3000 Flow Diagram

How does the UT-3000 Mercury Analyzer work?

The Mercury Instruments GoldTrap is used to capture total gaseous mercury (TGM) directly from the
atmosphere. GoldTraps work because mercury sticks to gold at room temperature. A gas carrying gaseous mercury is pulled through the trap; the gas continues to flow through the trap but the mercury stays behind--trapped on the gold. After the mercury is captured, the GoldTrap is heated very quickly; this releases the mercury as a gas (thermal desorption). The gaseous mercury is then swept by the flow of purified mercury free air into the optical cell of the detector. Here the mercury is measured by atomic absorption spectrometry.

Calibration of Mercury Gas Detector

There are two methods to check and calibrate the instrument: One way is to capture mercury on the GoldTrap by bubbling air through a liquid mercury standard to which stannous chloride solution has been added. Another quick, accurate, and precise way is the static calibration with mercury saturated air. Gaseous mercury is injected directly onto the GoldTrap. In this case the built-in calibration port is used which is internally connected to the sample gas line leading into the GoldTrap. The calibration port is equipped with a septum through which gaseous mercury is injected with a syringe. The type of syringe used for this purpose is specially designed to measure and dispense gases. The mercury is then automatically drawn onto the GoldTrap. Calibration gas sources are available as accessories. The calibration check procedure can be automatized as an option.

injection of mercury calibration gas

Injection of calibration gas into the calibration port of the analyzer

Display and Output of Mercury Measurements

The results of the measurements are displayed on a graphic LCD as a bar graph and numerically. It is possible to view past readings with a paging function. Calibrations are stored in a non-volatile memory. The device has a serial interface for data transfer to a PC and a 0-20 mA output.


UT 3000 bar graph display UT 3000 liquid chrystal display


Advantages of the AA Detection Method for Mercury

The latest AA detection technique used in the UT-3000 offers some clear advantages over other methods. Mercury trace detection by fluorescence must use a carrier and sometimes a sheath gas and suffers from the quenching effect which can never be completely eliminated. The UT-3000 requires no expensive gases for operation and there are no negative interferences caused by the quenching effect. Sensitivity and detection limits are far superior to those instruments based on measurement of electrical resistivity of a thin gold film.

UT 3000 brochure download

Click the above brochure to download PDF copy

UT 3000 Mercury Ultratracer Technical Specifications

Measuring principle: Collection of mercury onto a gold trap and subsequent release by fast heating, detection by AA
Mercury collector: Proprietary MI GoldTrap
Detector: Advanced AA photometer with stabilized electrodeless mercury discharge lamp, wavelength = 253,7 nm
Sample volume: 0.1 l to 100 l
Sampling duration: 10 seconds to 15 minutes
Measurement cycle time: 10 seconds to 16 min
Detection limit: 0.1 ng/m3 corresponding to 0.5 pg Hg absolutely
Measuring range:

at 10 l sample volume: 0.1 ng/m3 to 2000 ng/m³
at 1 l sample volume: 1 ng/m3 to 10000 ng/m³

Sample volume determination: Electronic massflow meter
Sample pump: Membrane pump, Viton
Sample inlet: 0.45 µm PTFE membrane filter, disposable
Calibration port: PTFE coated silicone rubber septum
Carrier gas: Not required
Data display: Display of real-time signal reading during gold trap heating period, display of measurement results in a barcode diagram
Data logger function: Built-in data logger for record of 10000 measurements (up to 100 days)
Data output: USB / RS232 to a computer (PC or Laptop)
Calibration: Through calibration gas injection port, manually using calibration gas source and syringe (optionally available), automatic with calibration source (option)
Power supply: 110 V or 230 V 50/60 Hz
Power consumption: Max. 125 W (heating peak)
Dimensions: 45 x 15 x 35 cm (W x H x D)
Weight: Approx. 9 kg
Temperature range: 5°C to 35°C
Accessories: Calibration set for static calibration
Automatic calibration device
MC-3000 Dynamic Calibration Gas Generator
Carrying case with handle and wheels
Mains independent power supply pack
ISO 9001 As a leading supplier of high precision analytical equipment, we strive at all times to offer top quality solutions. Our products are manufactured according to the ISO 9001 quality regulations.