Journal of chromatography. A

Evaluation of solid adsorbent materials for cryogen-free trapping-gas chromatographic analysis of atmospheric C2-C6 non-methane hydrocarbons.

PMID 17010353


Nine commercial solid adsorbent materials (in order of decreasing surface area: Carboxen 1000, Carbosieve S III, molecular sieve 5A, molecular sieve 4A, silica gel, Carboxen 563, activated alumina, Carbotrap and Carboxen 1016) were investigated for their ability to trap and release C2-C6 non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) in atmospheric samples for subsequent thermal desorption gas chromatography-flame ionization detection analysis (GC-FID). Recovery rates for 23 NMHCs and methyl chloride (CH3Cl) were determined. A microtrap filled with the three adsorbents Carbosieve S III, Carboxen 563 and Carboxen 1016 was found to allow for the analysis of the widest range of target analytes. A detection limit of approximately 3pptC [parts per trillion (carbon)] in a 1l air sample and a linear response over a wide range of volatilities and sample volumes was determined for this configuration. Water vapor in the sample air was found to causes interference in trapping and subsequent chromatographic analysis of light NMHCs. A Peltier-cooled, regenerable water trap inserted into the sample flow path was found to mitigate these problems and to allow quantitative and reproducible results for all analytes at all tested humidity conditions.