The determination of volatile organic compounds in soils using solid phase microextraction with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Authors

  • Kevin J. James,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ecotoxicology Research Unit, Chemistry Department, Cork RTC, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland
    • Ecotoxicology Research Unit, Chemistry Department, Cork RTC, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland
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  • Mary A. Stack

    1. Environmental Department, Cork County Council, Inniscarra, Country Cork Ireland
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Abstract

Solid phase microextraction (SPME) was applied in the development of a protocol for the analysis of a number of target organic compounds in landfill site samples. The selected analytes, including aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbous, and unsaturated compounds, were absorbed directly from a headspace sample above a soil layer onto a fused silica fiber. Following exposure, the fiber was thermally desorbed in the injection port of the gas chromatograph and eluted compounds were detected using a mass selective detector. The stability and sensitivity of the extraction technique were examined at five temperatures (22–60°C) using a 100μm polydimethylsiloxane fiber. Calibrations, using soil samples spiked with selected solvents (0.5–30 μg/g), were linear; trichloroethene (r2 = 0.992) and benzene (r2 = 0.998). SPME was applied to the examination of a municipal landfill where 8 sites were sampled, at three depths, resulting in the detection of xylene (maximum 2.8 μg/g) and a number of other non-target organic contaminants.

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