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Determination of indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by gas chromatography–electron capture detector

Afful, Samuel, Awudza, Johannes A.M., Twumasi, Stevester K., Osae, Shiloh
Chemosphere 2013 v.93 pp. 1556-1560
biphenyl, chlorine, gas chromatography, lakes, polychlorinated biphenyls, sediments, Ghana
An effective method for determination of indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has been validated using gas chromatography (GC) equipped with electron capture detector (ECD). The GC–ECD method was validated by determining the linear range (working range) for determination of the compounds, minimum detectable quantities (MDQ), the precision and accuracy of the method for the analysis of the compounds. MDQ obtained for the compounds ranges from 0.0005 to 0.002ng. Indeed the method was found to be more sensitive as the number of chlorine atoms attached to the biphenyl increases. The precision and accuracy of the GC method validated ranges from 2.4% to 14.5% and −7.0% to 14.6% respectively. Coefficient of variation associated with the repeatability of the retention times and corresponding peak areas was found to be 0.0001–0.0007 for the retention times and 0.0014–0.059 for the peak areas. Percentage recoveries for the compounds were in the range of 95.7–101.0%. The validated method was then applied to determine levels of indicator PCBs in sediments sampled from eleven sampling points along the Lake Bosuntwi in Ghana and the highest PCB load of 19.17ngg−1 was recorded at Pipie No. 2. PCB 52 and PCB 101 were found to be the most ubiquitous indicator PCBs in the study area, both with 90.91% occurrence.