Analytical Instrumentation

Single Tube Sampling and Analysis of Volatile and Semi- Volatile Organics in Air - The Cost Effective Green Solution at PEFTEC 2015

Feb 08 2016

Author: Timon Huybrighs on behalf of PerkinElmer

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There is an increasing need to measure both volatile and semi-volatile components in air samples as impact to human health concerns continue to be an issue. Many sites across the United States (US) are mandated to measure these components. Currently, the analysis of volatile and semi-volatile components requires two analytical methods. The methods are EPA TO-15 or TO-17 for volatiles and EPA TO-13A for semi-volatile components. The purpose of this new, innovative, and novel research project is to analyze both volatile and semi-volatile components in air using one analytical method following EPA method TO-17.

TO-17 captures target analytes in air with adsorbents specified to trap these compounds. To enable the analysis of both volatile and semi-volatile components in air, a new tube design was developed. Through rigorous investigation, a new thermal desorption sample tube (patent pending) and method have been developed to monitor 1,3-butadiene, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes (BTEX compounds) as well as 16 EPA regulated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in one air sample. This is the target list mandated by regulatory agencies at many sites.

It is advantageous to perform this test in one analysis instead of two. Only one sample will need to be collected in the field instead of two which significantly reduces sampling costs. Using one method, EPA Method TO-17, instead of two methods EPA TO-13A and TO-15 enhances laboratory productivity, profitability, and safety. In addition, since the analysis can be accomplished with one method, less solvent and electricity is used, making it a "greener" analysis.

Data was presented at PEFTEC 2015 to demonstrate both field and analytical soundness of this combined method. A site study will also be offered in which side-by-side sampling and analysis was performed between the TO-15/TO-13 methods and the TO-17 method, and a comparison of results will be discussed.


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