Environmental Analysis of Volatile Compounds in Soil, Water and Sludge by GC / PID / DELCD

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Courtesy of Buck Scientific Inc

The analysis of volatile compounds (b.p. <140°C) in environmental samples represents contamination from active or recent discharges. EPA methods 502.2, 601, 602, 8010, and 8021 test for pollutants from a broad array of commercial and industrial sources, including gasoline and diesel spills, solvent discharges, and disinfection by-products. The test methods include mixtures of up to 62 individual compounds, and therefore have tremendous power in the identification of these sources.

The analysis is performed using a purge and trap device which separates the compounds of interest from the sample matrix, based on differences in volatility and water solubility. The analytes are identified using very sensitive photo ionization and halogen-specific detectors which respond selectively to the compounds of interest while showing little or no response to other compounds in the sample. Because of the selectivity of the detectors, expensive test methods such as GC-MS are not necessary.

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