A Fast Method for US EPA 8270 Using Direct Heating Technology

New Organic Monitoring Techniques
Oral Presentation

Prepared by A. Andrianova, M. Giardina, B. Quimby, R. Veeneman, J. Cain
Agilent Technologies, 2850 Centerville Rd., Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: anastasia.andrianova@agilent.com; 302-636-3969


Requirements and methods for the quantitation of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are described in method 8270D/E produced by the EPA. The method presents several analytical challenges due to the requirement for simultaneous measurement of acid, base, and neutral compounds over a wide concentration range.
Recently, a fast 10.5-minute-long analysis method with a 20 m × 0.18 mm column was developed. It enabled calibration for 77 compounds over a working range of 0.2–160 ppm in a single analysis. The developed GC method was coupled with both single quadrupole (MS) and triple quadrupole (TQ) MS detection. The latter operated in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode allowed for increased sensitivity and the high selectivity. However, both GC/MS and GC/TQ methods required either the use of a 240 V power outlet to support a fast air bath GC oven or an oven insert to maintain the oven ramp rate (35 °C/min).
The method described in this work enabled a fast GC/MS analysis with direct heating GC that does not require special electrical service (V or A) at the bench, operates with a standard 120 V power outlet, and takes half the footprint of a conventional oven GC. An oven ramp was constructed that achieved a 12-minute run time. In addition to the required resolution of benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[k]fluoranthene, some laboratories also require a resolution of indenopyrene and dibenzoanthracene. This was also successfully achieved.
Furthermore, a guard column used in this work prevented high-boiling matrix compounds from contaminating the head of the column, greatly extending column lifetime. The developed fast analysis method met the EPA 8270 requirements and allowed for saving bench space while requiring only conventional electrical service. The direct heating oven requires less than half the electrical power of a conventional GC and significantly reduces the heat discharged back into the lab.