A Single Analytical Method for the Determination of Legacy and Emerging Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Aqueous Matrices

Characterization of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment
Oral Presentation

Presented by T. Anumol
Prepared by

Contact Information: timothy.coggan@rmit.edu.au; +61498200277


Analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in environmental aqueous matrices is of growing importance worldwide. A quantitative method for the determination of PFAS using liquid chromatography (LC) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) was developed and then applied to wastewater, surface water and drinking water samples. Using a single analytical method, >50 legacy and emerging PFAS from 14 compound classes were measured. After solid phase extraction using weak anion exchange cartridges, method detection limits in water ranged from sub ng/L 0.28 to 18 ng/L. Method accuracy, precision and reproducibility were well within acceptable limits according to standard methods. In addition to quantifying >50 PFAS in a single analytical method (many of which are currently unregulated in the environment and not included in typical analytical lists), this method has efficiency advantages over other similar methods as it utilizes a single chromatographic separation, while maintaining method accuracy, stability and the separation of branched and linear PFAS isomers. The method was then applied to wastewater influent and effluent, surface water from a river, wetland and lake and drinking water samples to survey PFAS contamination in Australian aqueous matrices. The range of compound classes detected, and differing PFAS signatures between sample locations, demonstrate the need for robust expanded quantitation methods when investigating PFAS in environmental aqueous matrices.