Automated high-speed analysis of selected organic compounds in urban air by on-line isotopic dilution cryofocusing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

E. Davoli, L. Cappellini, M. Maggi, R. Fanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An automated environmental air monitor has been developed to measure selected organic compounds in urban air. The instrument is based on a cryofocusing-thermal desorption gas chromatographic mass spectrometry technique where the mass spectrometer is a slightly modified residual gas analyzer (RGA). The RGA was chosen as a detector because the whole system must be robust for long periods, with 24-h continuous air monitoring. RCA are extremely simple and seemed the most reliable mass spectrometers for this purpose. Moreover, because they have no physically limited ion source, contamination is considerably reduced, so maintenance intervals are longer. The gas chromatograph is equipped with a computer-controlled six-way sampling valve, with a 100-mL sampling loop and thermal desorption cold trap injector. Environmental air is enriched with an isotopically labeled internal standard in the sampling line. This internal standard is added with a validated, custom-made, permeation tube device. The "on-line" internal standard provides for high quality quantitative data because all variations in instrument sensitivity in cryofocusing or in thermal desorption efficiency are taken into account. High repetition rates (down to 5 min for a full analytical cycle) are obtained with the use of an isothermal gas chromatography program, microbore capillary column, and environmental air sampling during the gas chromatography run.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1007
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy
  • Structural Biology

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