Portable Device for Methanol Detection

Quick and accurate analytical techniques to detect unsafe methanol concentrations are a priority for the alcohol beverage industry, to protect both industry reputation and consumer health. Although levels of methanol are low in cereal-based spirits such as Scotch Whisky, unsafe concentrations can be found in other alcoholic beverages as well as illicit or counterfeit products. SWRI worked alongside researchers in Zurich (Alivion AG) who developed a portable, hand-held device for the detection of methanol. Two Spark-M devices were tested onsite under a variety of sample, environment and device conditions to gauge the usefulness of this technology for the industry. Results from this work were used to publish an application note for the industry.