The determination of carbonyl compounds in air using a robotic sampling preparation system integrated to a gas chromatograph with a nitrogen-phosphorus detector

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A totally automated solid phase extraction gas chromatography procedure was developed for the sampling and analysis of carbonyl compounds in air. In this system, two PrepStation modules were used, one for the preparation and elution of 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine silica cartridges, and the other for air sampling. The sample collected by the sampling module was eluted to an autosampler vial in the PrepStation module and then transferred to the gas chromatograph for analysis via a robotic arm. The sampling module was modified to enable air sampling via an external pump. A typical run by this technique required 142 min, 100 min for air sampling and 42 min for the other operations, including a GC analysis time of 25 min. Recoveries of at least 85% were obtained for all compounds studied. The detection limits for formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone were 2.2, 2.7 and 2.2 ppbv, respectively. All operations, including the conditioning of the cartridges, were performed without any intervention from the analyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-475
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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