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Improved sample preparation and GC–MS analysis of priority organic pollutants

Polyakova, Olga V., Mazur, Dmitry M., Lebedev, Albert T.
Environmental chemistry letters 2014 v.12 no.3 pp. 419-427
detection limit, spectrometers, methylene chloride, pollutants, mass spectrometry, United States
Mass spectrometry is a major tool for analysing organic pollutants. However, scientists often complain about laborious sample preparation. The development of new commercial high-resolution mass spectrometers gives a chance to improve simultaneously speed, reliability, and sensitivity of the analysis. Here, we used the time-of-flight high-resolution mass spectrometer Pegasus GC-HRT to identify and quantify 55 priority organic pollutants in water samples. This mass spectrometer has a high resolution of 50,000, a high mass accuracy of about 1 ppm and a very high acquisition rate of up to 200 full mass range spectra per second. 1 mL water samples were extracted with 1 mL dichloromethane. Results show that the sample preparation and analysis are achieved 30 times faster, requiring 1,000 times less water and 350 times less solvent than the classic 8270 method of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The detection limit is 1 μg/L. The quantification limit is 10 μg/L. Our procedure, named accelerated water sample preparation, is simpler, faster, cheaper, safer and more reliable than 8270 Method.