Comprehensive screening of environmental contaminants by flow-modulated GC×GC

Non-Targeted Compound Screening
Oral Presentation

Prepared by M. Edwards, L. McGregor, N. Bukowski, N. Spadafora, B. Green
SepSolve Analytical, 22 Commerce Road, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, UK, PE2 6LR, United Kingdom


Contact Information: medwards@sepsolve.com; +44(0)1733 669222


ABSTRACT

Robust chemical fingerprinting is crucial for source attribution of oil spills and pollutants in other environmental disasters. The vast range of possible matrices (air, water, soil, biota…) and the complexity of environmental samples makes this a challenging prospect.

Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) offers significant advantages over conventional chromatography for such analyses, with its vastly expanded separation space and the added benefits of improved sensitivity and highly structured groupings of compounds.

While GC×GC has been heavily adopted in research and development labs, it is rarely applied for routine environmental analyses, with many analysts believing it to be too complicated, fragile and/or expensive. Furthermore, the thermal modulation devices which have dominated GC×GC literature require a cryogen fluid to modulate volatiles in the C4-C8 range – meaning additional running costs and the extra hassle associated with health and safety management of the laboratory.
This presentation explores flow modulation, as a simple, yet effective, method of gaining all the benefits of GC×GC without incurring any of the historical cost or hassle.

Here we discuss a new commercial design, based on proven reverse fill/flush dynamics and demonstrate proof of performance with a variety of detectors, across a range of environmental samples.