InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP Frequently Asked Questions

Instrument Specifications

What is the LOD of the InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP?  
The InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP has a minimum detection limit of 0.2 ppm for oil in water and 2 ppm for oil in soil.

What is the highest range of measurement for the TRANS-SP?  
The InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP can be calibrated to measure up to 2000 ppm oil in water or soil.


How long does a calibration last?  
A calibration lasts anywhere between one year and many years depending on frequency of use and environment. 
We recommend do an annual calibration verification and recalibrating when necessary.

Can you make your own standards?  
Yes.  Instructions are in the manual, Appendix B, Calibration Standard Preparation

Why do the standards read differently than the value displayed on the label?  
If the instrument is calibrated for a 10:1 extraction, the standard will read approximately a factor of 10 lower than the labeled value of the standard.  For example, a standard labeled 500 ppm will read 50 ppm.  For instruments calibrated for a 1:1 extraction, the instrument will read approximately the labeled value of the standard. 

The Analysis

How much solvent do you need for an analysis? 
The required amount of solvent is dependent on the measurement range.  For calibrations using a 10:1 extraction ratio the measurement typically requires 10 – 25 ml of solvent depending on the sample size.  For calibrations using a 1:1 extraction ratio the measurement typically requires 25  - 100 ml of solvent depending on the sample size.

Which solvents can be used with the TRANS-SP?  
The most common solvents used with the InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP are tetrachloroethylene and S-316.  For tetrachloroethylene, it is important that the purity is greater than 99% and there are NO stabilizers added. Contact Spectro Scientific for any questions on the usability of any specific grades of solvents or any alternative solvent types.

How do you clean the cuvettes?
Refer to the section of the TRANS-SP Manual  Section 6, Testing Samples with the TRANS-SP, Cleaning the Cuvette  for this information.

How long can you wait in between sample collection and analysis?  
You can wait several days after sample collection before measuring the sample.  If the sample is not to be measured within a few hours, you MUST acidify the sample to a pH of 2 using HCl or Sulfuric Acid.

Can I measure the extract if the solvent layer looks cloudy?  
If the solvent layer of the extraction looks cloudy or contains significant emulsion, it is recommended that solvent emulsion breaking techniques are applied to the solvent layer before continuing.  Refer to the section in the manual, Appendix C, Emulsion Breaking Techniques

Instrument Features

Can the instrument connect to a printer?  
No.  Results must first be downloaded off the instrument and printed by a computer.

Can the instrument connect to LIMS?  
The current InfraCal 2 software does not allow for connecting the instrument to LIMS.

How long does the battery life last?  
A new, fully charged battery should last approximately 6 hours.

How many measurements does the instrument store?  
The instrument can store up to 2,000 results.

Instrument Maintenance

Is cleaning the inside of sample stage of the TRANS-SP necessary? 
No.  It is not only unnecessary, it is highly recommend you do not attempt to clean the internal part of the sample stage as damage can occur to internal parts of the instrument.

Is the instrument sensitive to temperature?  
For high precision measurements (below 10 ppm) it is recommended the instrument be used in a temperature controlled environment.  Less precise measurements are not as sensitive to temperature, however, the instrument should not be placed near a heating or cooling source.

Is there any special maintenance?  
No.  We recommend keeping the InfraCal 2 clean and dry.  A plastic dust cover is supplied with the instrument.

How long does a source last?  
The InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP source has a typical life span of 5+ years.  

Do you need to turn off the instrument when not in use?  
If you are continuously using the instrument it is not necessary to turn the instrument off as there is a required minimum 30 minute warm time.  If you are not going to use the instrument regularly we recommend turning the instrument off. 

Instrument Service

How do you run and interpret diagnostics on the instrument?  
Refer to the section of the TRANS-SP Manual  Accessing Diagnostic Screens for this information.  Please contact our Customer Support Department with the information obtained from your diagnostics.

Do you need to use the same cuvette for zero as for your sample?  
For the standard range measurement, it is not required.  However, for higher precision measurements below 10 ppm it is recommended to use the same cuvette for zero and analysis.

Can you change the filter location?
The IR filter used in the InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP is centered at approximately 3.44 um and typically detects IR absorption from 3.35 um to 3.55 um. This filter location cannot be changed.