Comparison of SPME and SPME Arrow for the Trace-level Analysis of Taste and Odor Compounds in Drinking Water

Drinking Water
Poster Presentation

Prepared by R. Marfil-Vega, R. Marfil-Vega, A. Sandy, R. Karbowski, A. Owens
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc, 7102 Riverwood Dr, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, United States

Contact Information:; 410-910-0971


The two major culprits of public complaints about unpleasant tasting water are 2-Methylisoborneol (2-MIB) and Geosmin ("earthy" and "musty" aromas) . These volatile aroma compounds are released by decaying algae blooms, which can grow in drinking water sources. Taste and odor (T&O) events are happening more frequently due to the changes in weather patterns . Although odor is only regulated by a secondary maximum contaminant level (a non-mandatory water quality standard), it is critical for utilities and environmental laboratories to accurately identify and quantify specific compounds potentially involved in these events. Therefore, a highly sensitive, and robust technique is required for the analysis of 2-MIB and Geosmin at concentrations down to their odor threshold levels (low ng/L). Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) coupled with GCMS detection is a common analysis technique for these compounds; however, use of SPME Arrow, which is more sensitive and robust than conventional SPME, in this application has been limited. In this work, Standard Method 6040D was implemented for the analysis of 2-MIB and Geosmin employing both SPME and SPME Arrow to determine the improvement in throughput and sensitivity with the novel SPME Arrow.