A simple gas chromatography method for the analysis of monoethanolamine in air


  • Fabian Melchior Gerster,

    Corresponding author
    • Institute for Work and Health (IST), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Nancy Brenna Hopf,

  • Cong Khanh Huynh,

  • Grégory Plateel,

  • Nicole Charrière,

  • David Vernez

Correspondence: Fabian Gerster, MSc in Medical Biology, Bugnon 21, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland

E-mail: Fabian.Gerster@chuv.ch

Fax: +0041-(0)213-14-74-20


A simple method determining airborne monoethanolamine has been developed. Monoethanolamine determination has traditionally been difficult due to analytical separation problems. Even in recent sophisticated methods, this difficulty remains as the major issue often resulting in time-consuming sample preparations. Impregnated glass fiber filters were used for sampling. Desorption of monoethanolamine was followed by capillary GC analysis and nitrogen phosphorous selective detection. Separation was achieved using a specific column for monoethanolamines (35% diphenyl and 65% dimethyl polysiloxane). The internal standard was quinoline. Derivatization steps were not needed. The calibration range was 0.5–80 μg/mL with a good correlation (R2 = 0.996). Averaged overall precisions and accuracies were 4.8% and –7.8% for intraday (n = 30), and 10.5% and –5.9% for interday (n = 72). Mean recovery from spiked filters was 92.8% for the intraday variation, and 94.1% for the interday variation. Monoethanolamine on stored spiked filters was stable for at least 4 weeks at 5°C. This newly developed method was used among professional cleaners and air concentrations (n = 4) were 0.42 and 0.17 mg/m3 for personal and 0.23 and 0.43 mg/m3 for stationary measurements. The monoethanolamine air concentration method described here was simple, sensitive, and convenient both in terms of sampling and analytical analysis.