In-tube extraction for enrichment of volatile organic hydrocarbons from aqueous samples
In-tube extraction (ITEX) is a novel solventless extraction technique in which a headspace syringe with a needle body filled with a sorbent (here: Tenax TA) is used. The analytes are extracted from sample headspace by dynamic extraction. The needle body is surrounded by a separate heater, which is used for thermal desorption of analytes into the injection port of a GC system. We report here for the first time the optimization and evaluation of a fully automated analytical method based on ITEX. As target analytes, 19 common groundwater contaminants such as halogenated volatiles and monoaromatic compounds have been chosen. Method related parameters such as extraction temperature, number of extraction cycles, extraction and desorption volume as well as extraction and desorption flow rates were investigated in detail. The linear dynamic range of the ITEX method ranged over six orders of magnitude between 0.028 ?g/L and 1218 ?g/L with linear correlation coefficients between 0.990 and 0.998 for the investigated compounds. Method detection limits for monoaromatic compounds were between 28 ng/L (ethylbenzene) and 68 ng/L (1,2,4-trimethylbenzene). For halogenated volatile organic compounds, method detection limits between 48 ng/L (chloroform) and 799 ng/L (dichloromethane) were obtained. The precision of the method with external calibration was between 3.1% (chloroform ethylbenzene) and 7.4% (1,2,3-trimethylbenzene). © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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