Environmental monitoring and assessment

Direct screening of ground water samples for fuel oxygenates by headspace liquid phase microextraction-gas chromatography.

PMID 18214700


The applicability of the headspace liquid phase microextraction and gas chromatography (HS-LPME/GC) for the expeditious and reliable screening of 68 well water samples for selected fuel oxygenates compounds, viz. methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), tertiary-amyl methyl ether (TAME), ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE) and n-butyl ethyl ether (n-BEE) has been evaluated. The method used 3 microl of 1:1 benzyl alcohol/1-octanol as extraction solvent, 20 min extraction time with stirring at 1,250 rpm, at 20 degrees C and salt addition of a mixture of 0.3 g ml(-1) sodium sulphate/0.1 g ml(-1) sodium chloride. The enrichment factors of this method were from 171 to 571. Limits of detection were in the range of 77-110 ng l(-1). The relative standard deviations (RSDs) at 0.05, 0.50 and 10.0 mg l(-1) of spiking levels were in the range of 1.28-6.80% with recoveries between 96.2 and 106.0%. Sixty-eight groundwater wells that were located near different gasoline reservoirs in eight largest cities of the Sistan and Balouchestan province were screened by the method. Eight contaminated wells were identified contained MTBE at levels between 0.3 and 1.7 mg l(-1). In all cases, other target analytes were at low concentrations or not detected.