Integrated Monitoring Systems
West Systems builds integrated measuring stations for geochemical monitoring. These stations are designed to meet specific needs and are able to monitor environmental parameters regarding air quality, physicochemical parameters of groundwater and the gas composition in soil.
In particular, West Systems offers solutions for checking and quantifying hydrocarbons dispersed in all environmental matrices at natural-gas storage sites.
Monitoring of such phenomena requires highly sensitive instrumentation. Instruments based on flame ionisation detectors (FID), differential infrared absorption spectrophotometers and cavity ring spectrometers have been used to monitor hydrocarbon seepage. These instruments also make it possible to determine the 13C/12C ratio in methane.
The monitoring stations provide for the measuring of all environmental parameters that may influence the dispersion of pollutants in the environment.
Based on the characteristics of the groundwater access point, different methods are used to measure gases dissolved in water, such as exchange membranes, equilibration cells in the head space.
Gaseous exchanges between the soil and the atmosphere are assessed by means of interstitial gas analysis (soil gas survey) or direct measurement with accumulation chambers.
If necessary, the instruments may be supplemented with additional equipment and with discrete analysis campaigns that permit the isotopic characterisation of the hydrocarbons and hence the identification of the emission source.
The purpose of the activities is the monitoring of hydrocarbon dispersion in all environmental matrices: atmosphere, groundwater, interstitial space.
Field of application
These stations have been created for monitoring at strategic natural-gas storage sites, but may also be used to monitor contaminated areas.
West Systems has built stations of this type for Stogit (Snam S.p.a.) and for Saipem S.p.a.