High-Throughput Formaldehyde Analysis in Air Using Direct Mass Spectrometry
Direct analysis using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) enables real-time monitoring of formaldehyde to sub-part-per-billion concentrations, and simplifies and accelerates both sampling and analysis, providing 25-fold throughput enhancements.
Mark J. Perkins, Vaughan S. Langford |
sponsored by Syft Technologies
The toxicity, carcinogenicity and ubiquity of formaldehyde necessitates detection at trace levels across diverse applications, including pharmaceutical testing, automotive emissions, and ambient and indoor air quality. Formaldehyde is, however, difficult to analyse to trace levels using gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC); GC and LC usually require sampling of large gas volumes to achieve low detection limits, followed by derivatization to enable analysis of this highly polar, reactive compound.
SIFT-MS revolutionizes formaldehyde sampling and analysis by applying very soft chemical ionisation. SIFT-MS eliminates chromatography and directly analyses formaldehyde in air to sub-part-per-billion concentrations (ppbv; by volume) within seconds, from only a few millilitres of air. This yields very high sample throughputs in the laboratory, and enables continuous monitoring – with a time resolution of a few seconds – in process applications.
The formaldehyde data shown here were obtained using a Syft Technologies Voice200ultra SIFT-MS instrument, integrated with a GERSTEL Multipurpose Sampler (MPS; GERSTEL, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany). Sampling from Tedlar gas sample bags (SKC, Eighty-Four, PA, USA) was achieved using the GERSTEL sample bag analysis accessory.
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