Analytical chemistry

Theory and validation of solid-phase microextraction and needle trap devices for aerosol sample.

PMID 20954738


Previous aerosol studies utilizing solid-phase microextraction (SPME) predominantly focused on volatile and semivolatile compounds in the gaseous phase. Difficulties were associated with quantitative analysis of these compounds when they were associated with atmospheric particles. The present study combines SPME technology with that of carboxen packed needles (needle trap, NT) for analysis of gaseous and particle-bound compounds in atmospheric samples. The NT device is constructed as a micro trap by placing some small sorbents in a needle. Aerosol samples are collected by drawing air through the NT device with a pump. The trapped components contain both gaseous chemical compounds as well as particulate matter present in the sample. The total concentration of analytes in an aerosol sample can be obtained on the basis of the exhaustive sampling mode of the NT device. Direct SPME is simultaneously used to determine gaseous compound in the aerosol sample. As a result, the SPME and NT devices, when used together, can provide a complete solution to highly efficient and accurate aerosol studies. The theoretical considerations of SPME and NT devices for aerosol sampling are validated by sampling seasalt aerosol, barbecue, and cigarette smoke. The concentrations of PAHs in the different phases of the samples are few ng/L. Result analysis shows that SPME and the NT device demonstrate several important advantages such as simplicity, convenience, and low costs under laboratory and on-site field sampling conditions.