Standard Article

Volatile Organic Compounds in Groundwater, Probes for the Analysis of

Environment: Water and Waste

  1. B.M. Patterson1,
  2. G.B. Davis1,
  3. A.J. McKinley2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0882

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Patterson, B., Davis, G. and McKinley, A. 2006. Volatile Organic Compounds in Groundwater, Probes for the Analysis of. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    CSIRO Land and Water, Wembley, Australia

  2. 2

    University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


An automated system using a semipermeable polymer tubing [volatile organic compound (VOC) probe] coupled to an electrochemical sensor has been used for monitoring of VOCs in groundwater. The system operates by purging a VOC probe, which is in contact with groundwater, with gas at a low flow rate. The gas concentration of VOCs exiting the VOC probe can then be related to an external aqueous concentration according to Henry's law. The system enables semicontinuous in situ monitoring of total VOC concentrations in gaseous and aqueous environments.

The in situ VOC probes provided a reliable monitoring technique under long-term (between 1 and 3 months) aggressive and dynamic field conditions. The probes provided data that were comparable to conventional techniques without the labor-intensive sample collection and processing associated with conventional techniques, such as purge and trap or microextraction. Only the total VOC concentration can be determined using the electrochemical sensor; however, coupling the VOC probe to a gas chromatograph does enable compositional analysis to be determined.