Capillary Microextraction of Volatiles (CMV) – IP 1302

The analysis of VOCs in ambient air is currently performed with sorbent tubes following the guidelines from the EPA method TO-17. The commercially available sorbent tubes consist of a thin cylinder that can be made out of glass or stainless steel. The interior of the tubes is packed with sorbent material, which is selected depending on the target compounds, specifically the volatility or vapor pressure of the molecule of interest. Each sorbent material is classified according to its strength, which is described as the affinity of the compounds to the sorbent. Some of the limitations observed for the analysis of VOCs with sorbent tubes include: long headspace extraction times ( about 1 hour) with low flow rates and the use of thermal desorption units (TDU) coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) through the use of transfer lines that can result in poor recoveries. FIU inventors have developed a portable dynamic flow extraction device for sampling. The CMV has a thermally stable housing with orifices to allow the contact of a gas that contains one or more diagnostic volatiles with an absorbent that extracts and concentrates the diagnostic volatiles. After sampling, the CMV with the absorbed diagnostic volatiles can be directly introduced into the injection port of a GC using a low-cost thermal separation probe, thereby reducing sample loss and allowing faster elution relative to other thermal desorption units that use a transfer line. Alternatively, the CMV can be placed in a TDU, where, upon heating, the diagnostic volatiles are released to an inlet port of an analytical instrument. Analytical instruments that can be used include gas chromatographs and ion mobility spectrometers for separation and mass spectrometers for unambiguous identification of the diagnostic volatiles. With a total surface area of about 0.05 m2in the sampling device and a phase volume of 100 mm3for the CMV, this device offers greater absorption capacity compared to SPME where the surface area is 10-5 m2and phase volume is only 0.612 mm3, improving the capacity of CMV over SPME by 5,000 times. Anne Laure Schmitt Olivier aschmitt@fiu.edu 305-348-5948

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