TOC is a measure of the organic carbon content of a sample or body of water. A build up of organic carbon can result in raised treatment or discharge costs. Industrial applications include cooling water discharge and the measurement of organic concentrations in steam/condensate.
Traditional methods involve UV digestion or combustion. Colourimetric TOC analysis involves heating the sample in a sealed tube with an oxidant. This converts the organic compounds to CO2 and water, which can then be measured colourimetrically.
Although the TOC can be determined using this method, individual carbon complexes cannot be broken down and identified separately.