Wildfire Services

Get Quick Turnaround and Easy Reporting for Wildfire Ash & Char Testing at SGS

When plants combust in a wildfire event, they experience pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition process where liquids and gases transform to a solid, rich in carbon content or char. As pyrolysis continues, the remaining residue become inorganics manifesting as ash. In the aftermath of a wildfire, the need for combustion product (char and ash) analysis is critical. Testing is needed that requires timely sampling and reporting to determine if conditions allow for safe return into the affected structure or for submission of insurance claims. SGS provides the analytical solution you need with fast and easy-to-use reporting of your results.

Why Choose Wildfire Ash and Char Analysis from SGS?

After a wildfire, our expert SGS team will help you determine the best sampling and analysis strategy of airborne particulates.

  • Particles of utmost importance are char and ash. Both are distinctive, travel in local winds, settle predictably, and have morphology and sizes that can identify them as pyrolyzed plant matter.
  • Soot particles are another pyrolysis product, but only a secondary indicator for wildfires, since there are many other sources of soot in the built environment. It does serve, however, as crucial supporting evidence.
  • Background particulates such as textile fibers, soil minerals, and epithelial cells may also be of interest.
  • Polarized light microscopy (PLM) provides the best, most cost-effective method for detecting and quantifying these material classes.

When analyzed by our well-trained team, these settled dust particles provide a reliable measure of the infiltration of wildfire-related combustion products within a structure.

Wildfire Ash And Char Analysis Services From SGS

SGS provides these innovative services for wildfire ash/char exposure, the built environment and environment.

  • Tape Lift Sampling Kits – an innovative approach to particulate sampling and analysis containing five ready-for-use microscope slides prepared with a specially formulated transparent tape to identify dust components during an IAQ evaluation survey.
  • Microvac Media- long lasting and easy to transport, are analyzed semi-quantitatively to determine surface contamination resulting from settling dust. Utilizing a 25 mm MCE cassette, ash/char dust is collected where a tape lift kit will not reach.

Additional analyses we provide for wildfire samples include:

  • SmartSense – continuous monitoring and sampling initiation system.
  • Asbestos in air and bulk materials
  • Heavy metals in air and bulk materials
  • Industrial Hygiene analytical solutions
  • Rental equipment

SGS SmartSense is easily deployable
And because it’s only used during wildfire season, it’s highly affordable as no annual maintenance is needed. It is also easy to install and connects automatically to our cloud platform for a Live View of your data with drill-down features so you can see exactly what’s going on at each sensor, location or region. Read More >

Contact Us

To find out more about our wildfire services or to order, contact our Client Service representatives in these ways, or fill out the electronic form below:

SGS Ash & Char Contact Form