Main content area

The Application of TD/GC/NICI–MS with an Al2O 3-PLOT-S Column for the Determination of Perfluoroalkylcycloalkanes in the Atmosphere

Ren, Yu, Schlager, Hans, Martin, Damien
Chromatographia 2014 v.77 no.3-4 pp. 309-316
boiling, desorption, detection limit, gas chromatography, isomers, perfluorocarbons, quantitative analysis, spectroscopy, Germany
A modified method for the quantitative determination of atmospheric perfluoroalkylcycloalkanes (PFCs) using thermal desorption coupled with gas chromatography and detection by negative ion chemical ionization–mass spectrometry was developed. Using an optimized analytical system, a commercially available Al₂O₃porous layer open tubular (PLOT) capillary column (30 m × 0.25 mm) deactivated with Na₂SO₄was used for separation of PFCs. Improvements in the separation of PFCs, the corresponding identification and the limit of detection of PFCs using this method and column are presented. The method was successfully applied to determine the atmospheric background concentrations of a range of PFCs from a number of samples collected at a rural site in Germany. The results of this study suggest that the method outlined using the Al₂O₃-PLOT-S capillary column has good sensitivity and selectivity, and that it can be deployed in a routine laboratory process for the analysis of PFCs in the future research work. In addition, the ability of this column to separate the isomers of one of the lower boiling PFCs (perfluorodimethylcyclobutane) and its ability to resolve perfluoroethylcyclohexane offer the opportunity for single-column analysis for multiple PFCs.