A Rapid Method for the Analysis of Air Toxics Based on US EPA TO-15

Air Monitoring, Methods, and Technology
Oral Presentation

Prepared by T. Jeffers, A. Ladak, D. Lee
Thermo Fisher Scientific, 300 Industry Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15275, United States

Contact Information: terry.jeffers@thermofisher.com; 412-400-3890


US EPA Method TO-15 is an established method that offers guidance and performance criteria on the measurement of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). This subset of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is collected and analyzed using canister sampling methods and thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). Despite the popularity of canister sampling, maintaining system integrity and obtaining consistent results can be difficult for air analysis labs. Ingress of water to the analytical instrument can negatively impact analyte response and repeatability, as well as reduce the lifetime of the column and detector and standard method run times limit the sample throughput.
In this work the combined use of an innovative trap-based water removal device, alternative GC column choice, and a robust TD–GC–MS configuration were used to overcome the challenges experienced in the analysis of HAPs in accordance with US EPA Method TO-15. Linearity, precision and sensitivity were demonstrated with separation of all 60 target HAPs achieved in <13 minutes.