Monitoring ppb levels of ambient air pollutants via hyphenated techniques: HRGC/ in-series selective detection

Accepted for presentation at the American Chemical Society Spring National Meeting 2013 in New Orleans, LA in the Air Monitoring Symposium in the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry. Co-sponsored by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry.

508 - Monitoring ppb levels of ambient air pollutants via hyphenated techniques: HRGC/ in-series selective detection

Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:30 AMAir Monitoring (08:30 AM - 11:55 AM)
Location: New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center
Room: Blaine Kern B

Jack N Driscoll, Jennifer L Maclachlan. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, Massachusetts, MA 02563, United States

High resolution gas chromatography (HRGC) with a capillary column (50,000 to 100,000 theoretical plates) is an efficient and effective means for separation of a complex mixture of chemicals in the ambient air. Since retention times are used for identification, either a second column with a different polarity or the ratio of two detectors are used to confirm the identity of various solutes in a number of USEPA methods. The photoionization detector [1] is a very sensitive (0.5 ppt benzene (VOC's) and non-destructive detector (second detector can be run in-series) for volatile and semivolatile organic compounds. The PID/FID method was described more than 30 years ago [2] for identification of natural gas components, and has been used more recently for identification of ambient hydrocarbons. In a similar manner, a flame photometric detector (FPD) can be used in conjunction with the PID to identify S or P compounds in the air. A PID Analyzers Model 322 Automatic GC with temperature programming and a PID/FID or a PID/FPD was used for these measurements. The ambient measurements were made near our Cape Cod, MA facility which is at the perimeter of the Mass Military Reservation.


1. Driscoll, J.N., “Gas Chromatography in Environmental Analysis” Environmental Instrumentation Handbook, Wiley , NY (2005)

2. Driscoll, et al., "Gas Chromatographic Detection and Identification of Aromatic and Aliphatic Hydrocarbons in Complex Mixtures by Coupling Photoionization and Flame Ionization Detectors," J. Chrom., 158, 171 (1978).


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