Analysis of volatile organic pollutants in water using headspace–trap GC–MS: Maximising performance for ppt-level VOCs
This study demonstrates the analysis of a broad range of trace-level volatile organic compounds in drinking water using the headspace–trap sampling mode of the Centri automated multi-mode sampling and concentration system. Analysis of a 72-component standard mix using GC–MS with selected ion monitoring (SIM) acquisition provided mean detection limits as low as 2 ppt, with excellent mean linearities (R2 0.999), recoveries (97.8%) and repeatabilities (4.7% RSD) – performance that is comfortably lower than required by all major regulations. In addition, tap water was analysed and found to contain a range of VOCs at low-to-medium levels (2–200 ppt), in addition to ppb-level chlorinated compounds.
contributed by Markes |
Chemical contamination of rivers, reservoirs and ground water used as sources of drinking water originates from intentional and accidental discharges from industry, agriculture and urban pollution. This contamination requires extensive treatment, but such processes can also result in the formation of contaminants – such as the trihalomethanes that are formed by the reaction of the common oxidant chlorine with organic matter. Such contamination is naturally of concern, and acceptable levels for the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of drinking water are specified by a variety of regulatory bodies, including the European EEA, US EPA, Chinese EPA and WHO.
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