Making Semi-Volatile Analysis Safer for Our Environment: More Accurate, Precise, Clean and Sensitive

Oral Presentation

Prepared by L. Marotta, J. Casagrande
PerkinElmer, 710 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT, 06484, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 914-954-1779


There are several techniques employed to optimize the analysis of semi-volatile targets using Mass Spectrometry (MS) and/or Electron Capture (ECD) detection. The goal of this research is to achieve enhanced reporting limits while reducing sample volume for polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and pesticides. The techniques employed include enhanced solvent purge injection and simultaneous Full Scan and Single Ion Monitoring.

Additional advantages of solvent purge injections are controlled volatilization thereby significantly reducing or eliminating challenges encountered with vapor expansion, minimizing or eliminating target thermal breakdown, and eliminating condensation of target compounds below nC60. Using enhanced solvent purge, the injector is completely isolated from the analytical column during the purge step, thereby preventing solvent from reaching the column and detectors and enabling the use of chlorinated solvents using an ECD. In addition, one can maintain the inlet during analysis.

Reducing sample volume enables the use of less extraction solvent. Also, since less matrix is being introduced, system uptime is significantly improved. These result in optimized productivity and a reduction in the cost of analysis. How to optimize parameters for these techniques will be discussed in addition to cited studies for EPA methods 525, 625 and 8270.