Advanced Solutions for Comprehensive Ambient Air Monitoring

Air Methods, Monitoring, and Technology
Poster Presentation

Prepared by H. Calder1, N. Watson2, T. Anumol3, J. Mayser1
1 - Markes, Markes International, Gwaun Elai medi-science campus, Llantrisant, RCT, CF72 8XL, United Kingdom
2 - Markes International Inc, 2355 Gold Meadow Way, Gold River, California, 95670, United States
3 - Agilent Technologies Inc, 2850 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; +441443230935


Growing concerns over the harmful exposure to low levels of hazardous air pollutants have led to increasingly demanding volatile organic compound (VOC) monitoring programs. Regulations are evolving and laboratories are now required to increase monitoring frequency, expand the list of target compounds and reach lower detection limits in ambient air. Along side this as ambient and indoor air research continues to identify new and challenging compounds which will require monitoring in the future as the habits of countries and people change in response to global headlines.
There have long been specific standard methods and regulations that require routine monitoring of subsets of compounds, each using different instrument setups. For example method TO-15 for air toxics requires GC-MS, PAMS for ozone precursors uses GC-FID and ketones and aldehydes are usually sampled with DNPH cartridges, analyzed by HPLC. Each compound set has its own challenges, even so there is a drive to combine all three of these compound sets into a single analytical run with the possibility of monitoring in online and offline.
Additional considerations are high levels of humidity and large sample volumes; required to meet lower reporting limits. These require sophisticated trapping and water management techniques. As such removal of water from canister and on-line samples without loss of polar species is paramount for successful analysis any list which includes the PAMS, Air Toxics (TO-15) and additional polar species.
This presentation will address the challenges associated with this complex compound list and show how confident identification and quantitation, with maximum sensitivity can be achieved using state of the art pre-concentration technology combined with dual-column/Deans switch GC– MS/FID. The cryogen-free methodology allows remote, on-line analysis or off-line canister sampling, all with a sample-to-sample cycle time of <60 minutes, significantly reducing equipment overhead and analysis times whilst enhancing insight into air quality.