A comparison of Purge & Trap, Headspace and SPME for EPA Method 624 and 8260 Compounds

Poster Presentation

Prepared by , B. Prakash

Contact Information: pvmacek@shimadzu.com; 804-432-8912


Purge & trap (P&T) is a long established technique for measuring volatile organic compounds (VOC). There are a number of issues surrounding P&T, including, but not limited to cost, water management, contamination and foaming. For years, heated headspace (HS) has been used as a screening method for VOCs. Recent advances in automated headspace analysis coupled to improved sensitivity of modern GC/MS systems, have opened the possibility using HS in lieu of P&T in the future. We will compare HS data to P&T data for representative compounds from EPA Methods 624 and 8260 to determine the viability of headspace as a replacement for P&T. The project began as a comparison of Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) to HS and P&T, but initial SPME results were disappointing. We will also explore the possibility of using SPME as a rapid screening method for high level VOCs.