Innovative, Cryogen-Free, Ambient Air Monitoring in Compliance with US EPA Method TO-15a

Air Monitoring, Methods, and Technology
Oral Presentation

Presented by N. Shafer
Prepared by J. Mayser1, C. Widdowson2, L. Miles2
1 - Markes International GmbH, Bieberer Straße 1-7, Offenbach am Main, Hessen, 63065, Germany
2 - Markes International Ltd, 1000B Central Park, Western Avenue, Bridgend, CF31 3RT, United Kingdom


Contact Information: [email protected]; +491722819658


ABSTRACT

Monitoring of chemicals in ambient air is necessary to protect human health, the environment and global climate. This requirement has driven a number of national and international regulations to be developed, primarily in response to increased concern over hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient (primarily urban) air, industrial emissions and landfill gas.
Efforts to reduce the release and presence of these compounds in the environment over the past 60 years has resulted in lower limits of detection being required by regulators. In the USA monitoring of a specific list of hazardous air pollutants has been carried out in line with EPA method TO-15 since its release in 1999. In 2020 an update to this method (TO-15a) was released to better address the low concentration levels of compounds seen within ambient air in the environment.
Method TO-15a lowers the required method detection limit for all compounds covered by the method to 20ppt; a level which challenges every aspect of the sampling and analysis process. Whilst background generated by instrumentation and sampling equipment has been something analysts have monitored within air toxic analysis these extremely low levels poses significant challenges for the lab analyst.
In this presentation, we will show how the use of the UNITY-CIA Advantage-xr a canister autosampler and pre-concentrator combined with Kori-xr for innovative water removal enables the analysis of a range of volatile ‘air toxics’ from canisters at a range of humidities, in accordance with US EPA Method TO-15a. Within this we will demonstrate how the analytical instrument overcomes the challenges of this method relating to the low detection limits and background.