AOF by Combustion IC – Non Targeted Complemental Determination of PFAS in Aqueous Samples

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the Environment - Session 3
Oral Presentation

Presented by D. Jensen
Prepared by E. von Abercron1, D. Jensen2, U. Neist1, I. Klocke1, S. Georgii1, H. Brunn1
1 - Hessian State Laboratory, , Wiesbaden, Hess, Germany
2 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, Im Steingrund 4-6, Dreieich, Hess, 63303, Germany

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have unique properties in consumer products that lead to a wide variety of uses. Unfortunately, their toxicity, bioaccumulation, prevalence and persistence in waters and soils make them a global concern. The traditional compounds studied to investigate environmental and health impacts have focused on two compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanoic acid sulfonate (PFOS). However, it is now well established that there are possibly greater than 4000 compounds that can vary in length, linear or branched and ether telomer forms. Though EPA 537 and 537.1 have been developed by the EPA, a more recent method, EPA 533, has been validated to incorporate smaller length PFAS compounds, telomers and precursor compounds also using offline SPE followed by LC-MS/MS detection. Despite these efforts, the number of environmentally relevant fluoroorganic compounds and precursors, which yet cannot be analyzed, continuously grows. In addition, many PFAS compounds, their precursors, or, e.g., fluorinated pharmaceuticals, are not accounted for by existing analytical methods. Consequently, the interest in a technique that allows for a direct sum determination of as many as possible PFAS compounds in one analytical workflow is increasing in order to understand the total mass balance of PFAS compounds. Combustion IC works by first by adsorbing the halogen-containing organics (from aqueous samples) onto activated carbon. The activated carbon is then washed to remove inorganic halides. Sample and adsorbent are combusted, and the combustion gases are absorbed in DI-water. This solution is subsequently analyzed by IC. The goal of this work is to develop an automated method to determine a large variety of different PFAS by combustion IC and to apply this approach to surface, ground, municipal – and industrial wastewaters.