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Quantification of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Drinking Water


United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Method 533 for the analysis of selected per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water is traditionally analyzed using liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC/TQ) for maximum sensitivity. This application note shows an instrument demonstration of the Agilent 6546 quadrupole time-of-flight LC/MS for the analysis of EPA Method 533 compounds to meet sensitivity levels and all performance criteria mentioned in Method 533, while also allowing users to perform screening of other PFAS or nontargeted identification of unknown and emerging PFAS with LC-Q/TOF.

The analysis of PFAS in Method 533 using LC/TQ including method parameters such as extraction recovery, method reporting levels, and precision are described in previously published application note 5994-1628EN. Method 533 requires solid phase extraction of 100 to 250 mL of drinking water, followed by solvent exchange to 1 mL of 80% methanol, which is then analyzed by LC/TQ. This application note replaces only the detector and uses an LC/Q-TOF instead of TQ to show performance criteria for EPA Method 533 can be met with the Agilent 6546 LC/Q-TOF.

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