Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol in Water by Headspace (HS) Trap-GCMS and Solid Phase Microextraction, (SPME). A Comparison of Methods.

Drinking Water
Poster Presentation

Prepared by D. Scott, L. Marotta, B. Hahn
PERKINELMER, 710 BRIDGEPORT AVE, Shelton, CT, 06484, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 203-402-1984


Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB) compounds are responsible for the musty, earthy off-odor of many matrices including water, soil and foods. Two different methods, HS-Trap-GC-MS as well as SPME-GC-MS, were employed with great success and specificity to levels as low as 0.5 PPT (ng/L). The human threshold is as low as 5-10 PPT. Geosmin and MIB are secondary metabolites caused by certain species of phytoplankton and bacteria and are identified by their characteristic earthy, musty tastes and odors. Organisms most frequently linked to these taste and odor problems have been actinomycetes and several genera of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).
When algae decompose, they can cause taste and odor problems in two potential ways. When algae die they, lyse (i.e., break apart) releasing odorous compounds, and, the decaying biomass can produce adequate nitrogen to support bacterial growth, including that of actinomycetes.
This presentation will discuss the analytical methods employed to produce the results; in addition to, the analytical performance including chromatography, calibration, precision, accuracy and detection limits.