Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs are a group of artificial chemical compounds that can be either oil or solid liquids. Found in 1920, these chemical compounds have several useful characteristics in the industry:
- Resistant to heating up to 1,500 ° c;
- Low electrical conductivity (functions as an insulator)
PCBs, have been widely used throughout the world for around 50 years as insulation on transformers and other electrical equipment (1927, the first industrial application by Swan USA).
The lack of preliminary and reliable study allowed its application on a very large scale, until the dramatic events of the 1970s and 1980s led to a "ban".
The use of PCBs has been restricted for years and is prohibited from being used in new transformers by the IARC *, an international body for cancer research, a UN agency. IARC changes the classification of PCB agents from Group 2A to Group 1. This means that PCBs, which were previously considered "possibly carcinogenic", are now among the agents that are "carcinogenic to humans".
However, a large number of transformers contaminated with PCBs are still operating. It is a legal obligation for industry and power plants to detect the presence of PCBs on transformer oil.
PCB analysis in oil transformers can be divided into two categories: specific and non-specific methods.
Specific methods use gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC ECD). In general, specific methods are more accurate but more expensive, it takes longer to run, needed quality staff, and usually cannot be used for on-site tests.
Non-specific methods can be used for initial PCB field screening tests, such as the SM-TCPs PCB Screening Kit, which can be used to detect PCBs in oil transformers at a limit of 2 ppm.
PT Hyprowira Adhitama Laboratory can currently conduct a screening test to detect the presence of PCBs in transformer oil at a limit of 2 ppm, using: SM-TCPs SM-TCPsLC Instruments - Sea Marconi Potentiometric Test Kit at low concentrations - Total Chlorine and PCBs screening in minerals oil from 0.5 to 10 ppm of SEA Marconi equivalent - Patented Method PCB - Total Chlorine and PCBs screening-Mineral Oil.
The kit test we use is a kit for testing chlorine in mineral oil. Because PCBs are chlorine-based materials, the test kit can detect them. The test cannot distinguish between PCBs and other chlorine-containing compounds, which can also be found in transformer oil. Therefore, a negative result is an indicator that the PCB does not exist, but a positive result only indicates that the PCB can exist and verification will be needed using laboratory procedures. It is recommended that PCB positive samples from the screening procedure must be verified by the GC / ECD method in accordance with IEC 61619 in an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.
The SM-TCP POTENTIOMETRIC KIT from SEA MARCONI that we use has a lower danger level, no environmental risk, and a risk class for smaller transportation (packing group II) from the best competitors (packing group I and 3), as seen in the Comparison Table.
The SM-TCP POTENTIOMETRIC KIT from SEA MARCONI that we use, has been used by several international organizations such as UNIDO, in monitoring and inventorying transformers as seen in the Relevant Refference Table.