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Issue 55, 2016, Issue in Progress
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A fully automated portable gas chromatography system for sensitive and rapid quantification of volatile organic compounds in water

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Abstract

This paper presents the design, assembly and characterization of a fully automated portable gas chromatography system coupled with a purge-and-trap system for the sensitive and rapid field analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in water samples. The VOCs were firstly purged by helium gas in the micro-fabricated preconcentrator/injector and then injected into the downstream capillary column and photoionization detector for separation and detection. The purge-and-trap conditions were optimized to efficiently extract VOCs from water samples. The calibration of 6 VOCs with concentrations ranging from 1 μg L−1 to 500 μg L−1 showed excellent linearity (R2 > 0.99). Detection limits (3σ) of sub-μg L−1 (or sub-parts-per-billion level) were achieved, which are orders of magnitude lower than the maximum contaminant level (MCL) established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The separation of 26 analytes (in a vapor pressure range from 0.087 Torr to 180 Torr) in a water sample in less than 15 minutes was also demonstrated. Finally, the optimized system was applied to field analysis of a groundwater sample in an environmental remediation site. The quantified results agreed well with those obtained by an analytical lab using standard analytical methods and instruments. Our system offers a lab-on-a-chip solution for sensitive and rapid water analysis compliant with the EPA sample collection method. It will have a wide range of applications in environmental monitoring, industries and healthcare.

Graphical abstract: A fully automated portable gas chromatography system for sensitive and rapid quantification of volatile organic compounds in water

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Apr 2016, accepted on 08 May 2016 and first published on 09 May 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA09131H
Citation: RSC Adv., 2016,6, 49416-49424
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    A fully automated portable gas chromatography system for sensitive and rapid quantification of volatile organic compounds in water

    M. Zhou, J. Lee, H. Zhu, R. Nidetz, K. Kurabayashi and X. Fan, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 49416
    DOI: 10.1039/C6RA09131H

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