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Concentrically packed high flow air sampler for parts-per-trillion volatile and semi-volatile organica compounds A

Xie, Xiaofeng, Dennis Tolley, H., Lee, Milton L.
Journal of chromatography 2017 v.1502 pp. 1-7
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), air, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, sorbents, volatile organic compounds
Rapid determination of trace level (parts-per-trillion) volatile organic compounds cannot always be achieved with conventional analytical techniques. In this study, a device was developed to sample a large volume of air in a short time period. The basic design involves packing sorbent layers concentrically around an empty permeable tube. Single digit parts-per-trillion detection limits were reached in less than 25min with this sampling system using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for analysis. The concentric packed trap can sample at high flow rates (>10L/min) because it has a large sampling surface cross-section and short combined sorbent bed. Additionally, the large sorbent amount (>1g) provides large breakthrough volume (>100L) required to achieve low detection limits. The trapped analytes were thermally desorbed and transferred into a needle trap device for final analysis. This high flow sampling system was explored for detection of low ppt benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) in air.