GC/MS and GC/MS/MS Analysis of PAHs Using the Hydroinert Source in Challenging Soil Matrix

Operational Issues Impacting the Environmental Laboratory Industry
Poster Presentation

Prepared by S. Haddad, B. Quimby, E. Fausett, A. Andrianova
Agilent Technologies, 2850 Centerville Rd, Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 925-336-6173


The Agilent 8890/7000E triple quad and 8890/5977C single quad GC/MS systems with a Hydroinert source, optimized for hydrogen carrier gas, were used for the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The optimized method using the HydroInert source provides excellent peak shape, especially for the late-eluting PAHs. Calibration linearity of R2 ≥ 0.999 was observed for all 27 analytes over <1 – 1,000 pg. Method detection limits were 0.1 pg on average. Internal standard (ISTD) response was stable across 4 orders of calibration with RSDs below 7%. Stable performance over 500 injections of a challenging soil extract demonstrated quantitation stability with RSDs <12% for all analytes with routine maintenance. By proper selection of instrument configuration and operating conditions, the system with hydrogen carrier gas can generate results comparable to or better than those with helium. For those laboratories looking to change their PAH analysis to the more sustainable hydrogen carrier gas, the HydroInert source with the 9 mm extractor lens enables the transition with equivalent or better performance for GC/MS and GC/MS/MS analysis.