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The Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer, Model TCA08, is a revolutionary new instrument that measures the Total Carbon (TC) content of suspended aerosol particles in real-time for laboratory research, field work, and routine air-quality monitoring applications.
The Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer collects the aerosol sample on a quartz-fiber filter and then uses flash combustion to determine the Total Carbon content.  Two identical parallel channels are switched for sample collection in one, and analysis in the other, to provide continuous data.

The analytical principle is scientifically robust: there are no arbitrary temperature split-point settings, no switching of atmospheres.

The analytical hardware is mechanically robust and suitable for laboratory use, field projects, or routine air-quality monitoring applications: the analytical area is constructed entirely of stainless steel.

The instrument contains NO GLASS and requires NO GAS.

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The analytical system of the Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer is constructed entirely from stainless steel, making the instrument rugged, simple and reliable.  The analysis uses ambient air as the carrier gas.  This eliminates the need for specialty gas supplies, and greatly simplifies the installation, use, and maintenance of the instrument.

In contrast to existing methods, the TCA offers greater reliability, greater flexibility, and substantial operational cost savings for aerosol analysis.

The TCA08 can be used in online mode for continuous, real-time analysis: and offline mode to analyze previously-collected samples..


The timebase for sampling and analysis is adjustable from 15 minutes to 24 hours.

Ambient air is used as the analytical carrier gas at a very low flow rate.  This eliminates the need for specialized gas supplies.

The analytical chambers are made of stainless steel: the instrument contains no fragile glass components.

The Total Carbon Analyzer provides the result for TC.

Since {TC = OC + EC}, it follows that {OC = TC – EC}.

The Total Carbon Analyzer may be connected to a Model AE33 Aethalometer, which provides real-time data for BC, closely related to ‘EC’.  The Aethalometer data is automatically combined with the TCA data to provide a full characterization of the carbonaceous component of the aerosol in near-real-time:  TC, OC, BC (or ‘EC’).

One channel collects the sample, while the second parallel channel is being analyzed.  Ball valves automatically switch between the two, every timebase period, to provide continuous operation.

The instrument can be installed quickly with no specialized resources required.  It operates automatically and recovers from power interruptions.


Carbonaceous matter {TC = OC + EC} is often the largest contributor to PM2.5 mass.  The Total Carbon Analyzer provides the result for TC.

Since {TC = OC + EC}, it follows that {OC = TC – EC}.

The Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer may be connected to a Model AE33 Aethalometer, which provides real-time data for BC, closely related to ‘EC’.  The Aethalometer data is automatically combined with the TCA data to provide a full characterization of the carbonaceous component of the aerosol in near-real-time:  TC, OC, BC (or ‘EC’).

This is accomplished in a rugged, reliable instrument package that is suitable for laboratory, fieldwork, and routine Air Quality monitoring applications.


The Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer Model TCA08 is constructed in a rugged instrument package suitable for laboratory, field-work and routine Air Quality monitoring applications.


  • The Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer collects a sample of atmospheric aerosols on a quartz fiber filter enclosed in a small stainless-steel chamber, at a controlled sampling flow rate of 16.7 LPM. The default sampling time is 60 minutes, but may be set from 15 minutes to 24 hours depending on the ambient aerosol concentrations.
  • The instrument has two identical parallel channels, with the air flows being controlled by ball valves and solenoids. While one channel is collecting its sample, the other channel is analyzing the sample collected during the previous period.  At the end of the period, the valves switch over to provide continuous operation and continuous data.
  • After collection on the filter, two flash-heating elements combust the sample instantaneously in a small ‘analytic’ flow of filtered ambient air. This converts all the carbonaceous compounds into CO2, and creates a short but large-amplitude pulse of CO2 in the analytic flow passed to the NDIR CO2 detector. The background level of CO2 in ambient air during the heating cycle is determined before and after the heating cycle, the provide the baselines against which the combustion pulse is measured. The CO2 concentration over the baseline is integrated to give the Total Carbon content of the sample.
  • The chamber and combustion elements are cooled after analysis. At the end of the timebase period the flow system of ball valves and solenoids switches over.  The first channel collects the next period’s sample, while the second channel is analyzed.



  • Supply voltage: 100-240 V~, 50/60 Hz
  • Max power consumption: 600 W (Heaters 400 W, Sample pump 100 W, Analytic flow pump 25 W)
  • Airflow: Sample Airflow 16.7 LPM, Analytic Airflow 0.5 LPM
  • Time resolution: 60 min (default); user-selectable 15 min to 24 hours

Environmental operating conditions

  • Indoor use, rack or benchtop (instrument)
  • Altitude: up to 3000 m
  • Temperature range: 10 – 40 degrees Celsius (instrument)
  • Relative humidity range: non-condensing


Sensitivity: 0.5 μg C/m³ at 60 min Sample time base and 16.7 LPM Sample Airflow

Mechanical specification

  • Chassis: standard 19’’/9U, rack mount, constructed of sheet metal
  • Inlet plumbing requirement: the minimum overall height of the Total Carbon Analyzer (TCA) chassis and inlet tubing is 1.20 m.  See Figure 1. 
  • Weight: 35 kg

Figure 1. (left) Denuder efficiency test setup, and (right) sampling setup. Overall height of such setup is 1.20 m


Sampling air stream:

  • inlet: inner diameter 14 mm, outer diameter 18 mm, custom connectors. See Figure 2.
  • outlet: .1/4” NTPF

Analytic air stream:

  • inlet: 1/8’’’ NTPF
  • outlet: (internal, not brought to panel connector)


  • 6x COM, 4x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 3x power USB, Ethernet

Figure 2. (left) Sampling line is divided to two channels and connected to the TCA inlet with a custom connector. (right) The outer diameter of sampling line is 18 mm, the inner diameter is 14 mm. The sampling channels inside the TCA narrow to 12.7 mm, which is ½’’. 

User interface

  • 8.4” SVGA display with LED backlight
  • Basic control: touch-screen
  • Optional control: standard PC keyboard and mouse
  • Red, Yellow, Green status LEDs
Figure 3. (left) Front view of Total Carbon Analyzer with 8.4’’ SVGA touch display with LED backlight, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 and red, yellow and green status LEDs. (right) Back view of TCA: 6x COM, 3x USB 2.0, 3x power USB, ethernet, sample outlet and analytic inlet. 


Total Carbon Analyzer TCA08 spec sheetBROCHURE SHEETDownload
Magee_Scientific_Total_Carbon_Analyzer_model_TCA08_WPWHITE PAPERDownload
Rigler (2017) Offline validation of the New Total Carbon AnalyzerPOSTERDownload


Magee Scientific Total Carbon Analyzer Model TCA08


Magee Scientific offers accessories and routine supplies.  Please contact our sales team to discuss your specific needs.


The BGI ‘TetraCal’® is a simple-to-use, NIST-traceable Standard for volumetric air flow, barometric pressure, and ambient temperature.  The TetraCal is a venturi based system with built-in compensation for changes in ambient temperature and pressure.  The TetraCal® may be directly connected to the Model TCA08 Total Carbon Analyzer for both air flow and data transmission: and used in automatic software routines for flow calibration of the TCA08.

Specification sheet


The Sharp Cut Cyclone (SCC) is designed to replace the US EPA WINS Impactor for PM2.5 sampling.  It has proven advantages over the WINS because it is a dry system and does not require cleaning at frequent intervals.  Since speciation sampling for particulates is not governed by an EPA FRM, the SCC may be freely utilized.

  • Particle Size Cut PM2.5 at 16.67 LPM
  • Ambient PM2.5 sampling
  • Indoor Air Quality sampling
  • Speciation sampling



The Ambient Meteorological Sensor is a non-aspirated unit which measures air temperature, relative humidity and barometric pressure. It uses a Pt100 element for Temperature; a compensated solid-state capacitive sensor for Relative Humidity; and a piezo-resistive pressure transducer for Pressure.  The sensing elements are protected by a UV-resistant polymer shield.  A data cable (supplied in 10-m. or 20-m. lengths) connects the sensor to the AE33, and its data is automatically imported and merged with the Black Carbon measurements.


Why is offline validation important?
Offline validation is important (1) to confirm the simplified Total Carbon Analyzer 08 method and (2) to compare offline analysis of ambient samples with standardized OC/EC method. The new instrument does not use glass chamber, high purity gases and catalyst oxidation via MnO2. Experiments with series of different sucrose solutions and ambient filter punches showed that we have nearly 100% efficient combustion without glass, gas and catalyst.
Did you also did and “online validation”?
Yes, we did. In Ljubljana, urban background location, we showed that online TC-BC method is equivalent to the standardized OC/EC method.
How do you heat up the sample?
We are using two heating modules with heating wires in each chamber. In this way, we can rapidly heat up the filter up to 900 oC.
Why two heating modules?
To get the combustion process as efficient as possible we developed a two-stage heating thermal protocol. Firstly, the lower heater is turned on (analytic flow stream goes in up-down direction, see Figure 3) which is rapidly heated up to 900 oC. In that way, we are sure that all the OC vapors passing the lower heater are converted to CO2. After lower heater reaches the temperature of 900 oC the upper heater is turned on so everything on the filter is really combusted.
Why two identical chambers?
These are used when instrument is measuring online. When for example CH1 is sampling PM on filter, CH2 is preforming analysis of previously collected PM. After the end of sampling timebase the flows are switched. Now CH1 is analyzing previously collected PM, CH2 is sampling new material. With that we achieve almost zero “dead time” in measuring.


TCA08 software – latest release and other important documents
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