Determination of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes in water at sub-ng l-1 levels by solid-phase microextraction coupled to cryo-trap gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

PMID 17582460


A trace analytical method of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) in water has been developed by using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled to cryo-trap gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The chromatographic peak shape for BTEX was improved by using cryo-trap equipment. The HS-SPME experimental procedures to extract BTEX from water were optimized with a 75 microm carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS)-coated fiber at a sodium chloride concentration of 267 g l(-1), extraction for 15 min at 25 degrees C and desorption at 290 degrees C for 2 min. Good linearity was verified in a range of 0.0001-50 microg l(-1) for each analyte (r(2)=0.996-0.999). The limits of detection (LODs) of BTEX in water reached at sub-ng l(-1) levels. LODs of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m/p-xylene and o-xylene were 0.04, 0.02, 0.05, 0.01 and 0.02 ng l(-1), respectively. The proposed analytical method was successfully used for the quantification of trace BTEX in ground water. The results indicate that HS-SPME coupled to cryo-trap GC-MS is an effective tool for analysis of BTEX in water samples at the sub-ng l(-1) level.