The Use of Thermal Desorption with Optimized Sampling Tubes for Quantifying Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Air

Poster Presentation

Prepared by N. Watson1, I. Ferrante2
1 - Markes, 2355 Gold Meadow Way, Suite 130, Gold River, CA, 95670, United States
2 - Markes International, Gwaun Elai Mediscience Campus, Llantrisant, RCT, CF72 8XL, United Kingdom

Contact Information:; 513-488-6161


This paper will describe the use of thermal desorption (TD) with gas chromatography (GC) for the quantitation of airborne SVOCs, particularly the PAHs, as an alternative to solvent-based sampling techniques.

Current GC-based procedures for the analysis of PAHs are time-consuming and involve sample collection over long time-frames and the use of solvent extraction (which runs the risk of losing the more volatile analytes during the evaporation step). TD offers a number of well-known advantages over such approaches for the analysis of a wide range of SVOCs, both in terms of productivity and regarding the safety of laboratory workers.

In this study, a range of PAHs from naphthalene to benzo[ghi]perylene are readily captured on to specially-optimized sorbent tubes and released from them quantitatively. The poster will show how this allows low detection limits for airborne PAHs with minimal breakthrough and excellent linearity, even when the total sampling volume exceeds 400 L.