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Issue 5, 2005
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Performance of semipermeable membrane devices for sampling of organic contaminants in groundwater

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Abstract

Lipid-filled semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) are receiving increasing attention as passive, in situ samplers for the assessment of environmental pollutant exposure. Although SPMDs have been successfully used in a variety of field studies in surface waters, only a few studies have addressed their characteristics as groundwater samplers. In this study, the performance of the SPMDs for monitoring organic contaminants in groundwater was evaluated in a pilot field application in an area severely contaminated by chemical waste, especially by chlorinated hydrocarbons. The spatial distribution of hydrophobic groundwater contaminants was assessed using a combination of passive sampling with SPMDs and non-target semiquantitative GC-MS analysis. More than 100 contaminants were identified and semiquantitatively determined in SPMD samples. Along the 6 field sites under investigation, a large concentration gradient was observed, which confirms a very limited mobility of hydrophobic substances in dissolved form in the aquifer. The in situ extraction potential of the SPMD is limited by groundwater flow, when the exchange volume of well water during an exposure is lower than the SPMD clearance volume for the analytes. This study demonstrates that SPMDs present a useful tool for sampling and analyzing of groundwater polluted with complex mixtures of hydrophobic chemicals and provides guidance for further development of passive sampling technology for groundwater.

Graphical abstract: Performance of semipermeable membrane devices for sampling of organic contaminants in groundwater

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jul 2004, accepted on 03 Mar 2005 and first published on 22 Mar 2005


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B411645C
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2005,7, 500-508
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    Performance of semipermeable membrane devices for sampling of organic contaminants in groundwater

    B. Vrana, H. Paschke, A. Paschke, P. Popp and G. Schüürmann, J. Environ. Monit., 2005, 7, 500
    DOI: 10.1039/B411645C

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