The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.

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Organic compounds analysis

The CSIR undertakes state of the art, specialised analysis of organic compounds in soil, sediment, water and air samples.


  • Organic compound analysis in different environmental matrices, i.e. water, soil, ambient air sediments, etc.
  • Sample handing (storage, preservation, sample tracking)
  • Quality assurance requirements
  • Advice on appropriate methods of analysis


  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by Purge & Trap GC-MS or Headspace GC-MS
  • Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m,p-xylene and o-xylene (BTEX) by Purge & Trap GC-MS or Headspace GC-MS
  • Trihalomethanes (THMs) in water by by Purge & Trap GC-MS
  • Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) by GC-MS
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by GC-MS
  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) by GC-FID
  • Diesel Range Organics (DROs) by GC-FID
  • Gasoline range organics (GROs) by Headspace GC-FID
  • Volatile organic compounds in ambient air samples by Thermal Desorption GC-MS
  • Volatile organic compounds in ambient air samples using carbon disulphide desorption GC-GID analysis (e.g. Radiello)
  • Organic screening
  • Qualitative organic analysis


Routine analysis based on US EPA methodology. These are mainly target compound analyses.

CSIR methods for the determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in water, semi-volatile organics in water and soil, TPH in water and soil are accredited by SANAS as meeting the technical competence requirements of the internationally recognised ISO 17025 standard (T 0010). This assures confidence in CSIR data combined with greater acceptance of the data both within South Africa and internationally.

Proficiency testing

The laboratory takes part in a number of international proficiency testing schemes. This assists the laboratory in optimising its quality control and analytical performance for the benefit of customers. It also provides independent evidence of laboratory performance.

Analysing data for applications including:

  • Land/site remediation projects
  • Site characterisation
  • Sample characterisation
  • Waste characterisation
  • Legal cases
  • Groundwater monitoring
  • Quality control purposes
  • Regulatory purposes
About this section
Water testing
Organic compounds analysis
Microbiological analysis
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