Rapid Analysis of Organochlorine Compounds in Water Using Automated SIFT-MS

Martin Perkins

11th September 2019


Organochlorine compounds such as chloroform, trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene, PCE) have widespread use in a diverse range of industries in the 20th century. Although usage is now greatly reduced, these compounds continue to be significant contaminants in air, soil, and water so measuring for them remains necessary. The purge and trap approach is most commonly applied for analysis of these chlorinated VOCs in water, followed by gas chromatography analysis coupled with either electron capture detection (GC-ECD) or mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Not only are these methods slow, but the GC requires that moisture is removed prior to analysis. The cumulative price paid by the laboratory for these requirements is low sample throughput. In contrast, application of SIFT-MS accelerates analysis through direct headspace analysis. That is, SIFT-MS eliminates the need to purge, trap, and dry the sample, in addition to significantly reducing sample analysis time. In this application note, we describe the simplified, direct SIFT-MS analysis of chloroform, TCE and PCE in drinking water headspace. Using the approach described here, at least 12 samples per hour can be analysed.

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