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Journal of chromatography. A

Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric determination of sulfolane in wetland vegetation exposed to sour gas-contaminated groundwater.


PMID 10563417

Abstract

Described is a GC-MS method for the determination of the levels of sulfolane (tetrahydrothiophene 1,1-dioxide, C4H8O2S; a water miscible chemical used in the sweetening of sour gas) in wetland vegetation (roots, shoots, berries, seeds, grasses, and leaves). The technique was developed to provide positive detection of sulfolane in a variety of wetland vegetation and to determine the extent to which sulfolane may translocate within the plants. Vegetation samples collected at a sour gas processing facility were extracted using a two-stage process which utilized a back extraction of a water extract with toluene. The main advantages of this procedure were: good extraction efficiency (recovery of 80+/-12%), exclusion of most of the highly polar co-extractives during the toluene back extraction step, and a final extract well suited to routine GC-MS selected ion monitoring of sulfolane with a detection limit of 90 ng g(-1) (wet mass). In general, the method was rugged, based on a study period of 18 months in which over 175 runs were conducted.

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