Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence (CVAF) is a powerful technique based on detecting fluorescence light emitted by the emissions sample. Below the principle of the technique is explained in a nutshell.

First of all, a UV light source is needed. A mercury-vapor lamp is used as the UV light source, and the light is directed to the sample cell. When the sample gas enters the sample cell, the Hg atoms in the gas are excited by the UV light.

Right after, the excited Hg atoms re-radiate the absorbed energy, which is called fluorescence. Fluorescence light is omnidirectional, which means that the light is emitted in all directions. Therefore, the detector is usually placed at 90° angle to the light source to ensure that only the fluorescence light is detected. The detector is a photon-counting module, which will only detect the photons derived from the Hg atoms.

The Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence technique is an extremely selective technique with a high sensitivity, which ensures accurate measurement of extremely low mercury levels. Low detection limit of CVAF also enables diluting the stack gas. With dilution, cross-interference effects from other gases like SO2 and O2 can be eliminated.

Gasmet manufactures Continuous Mercury Monitoring systems, CMM AutoQAL and CMM, based on Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence technique.

Key Advantages

  • Highest sensitivity
  • Extremely selective
  • Future-proof technique


Gasmet solution

Gasmet’s Continuous Mercury Monitoring systems CMM AutoQAL and CMM incorporate CVAF technique with special Gasmet design, which enables measuring the lowest mercury levels from hot, wet and corrosive gas streams.

The sample cell is directly connected to a thermal converter, which converts all mercury compounds to elemental mercury before the measurement. This way recombination of mercury compounds is eliminated and total gaseous mercury measurement achieved. The detector used in both systems is an extremely sensitive photon counting module. Furthermore, the Gasmet CVAF sample cell design includes light traps to eliminate any stray light reflections to the detector. CMM AutoQAL has also an automatic and integrated QAL3 validation tool. Certified test gas generator with the possibility to do both Hg0 and HgCl2 checks means that there is no longer a need for an external gas generator for QAL3 operations.

Gasmet CMM has successfully completed the EN15267-3 testing with the world’s lowest EN15267 certified range (0 to 5 µg/m3) for continuous mercury measurement. This new world record makes our CMM future-proof for declining emission limits! Read more about our certified systems here.

You can also contact us directly. We would love to help with any questions regarding CVAF technology and mercury monitoring.