Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Determination of volatile organic compounds including alcohols in refill fluids and cartridges of electronic cigarettes by headspace solid-phase micro extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

PMID 27826631


An analytical method for the detection of 14 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was developed to investigate VOCs in refill fluids and cartridges of electronic cigarettes (EC) using headspace solid-phase micro extraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In total, 14 VOCs were identified and quantified in 283 flavored liquids, 21 nicotine liquids, and 12 disposable cartridges. The detected concentration ranges of the VOCs are as follows: benzene (0.008-2.28xa0mgxa0L(-1)), toluene (0.006-0.687xa0mgxa0L(-1)), ethylbenzene (0.01-1.21xa0mgxa0L(-1)), m-xylene (0.002-1.13xa0mgxa0L(-1)), p-xylene (0.007-2.8xa0mgxa0L(-1)), o-xylene (0.004-2.27xa0mgxa0L(-1)), styrene (0.011-0.339xa0mgxa0L(-1)), ethyl acetate (0.3-669.9xa0mgxa0L(-1)), ethanol (16-38,742xa0mgxa0L(-1)), methanol (66-3375xa0mgxa0L(-1)), pyridine (0.077-99.7xa0mgxa0L(-1)), acetylpyrazine (0.077-147xa0mgxa0L(-1)), 2,3,5-trimethylpyrazine (0.008-96.8xa0mgxa0L(-1)), and octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (0.1-57.2xa0mgxa0L(-1)). Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m-xylene, p-xylene, and o-xylene coexisted in samples, which may have originated from the use of petrogenic hydrocarbons as an extraction solvent for flavor and nicotine from natural plants. The maximum detected concentrations of benzene, methanol, and ethanol in liquid samples were found in quantities higher than their authorized maximum limits as residual solvents in pharmaceutical products.

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