5 years ago

Comparison of two common adsorption materials for thermal desorption gas chromatography – mass spectrometry of biogenic volatile organic compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are commonly collected from gaseous samples by adsorption to materials such as the porous polymer Tenax TA. Adsorbed compounds are subsequently released from these materials by thermal desorption (TD) and separated then by gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionization (FID) or mass spectrometry (MS) detection. Tenax TA is known to be particularly suitable for non-polar to semipolar volatiles, however, many volatiles from environmental and biological samples possess a rather polar character. Therefore, we tested if the polymer XAD-2, which so far is widely used to adsorb organic compounds from aqueous and organic solvents, could provide a broader coverage for (semi)polar VOCs during gas-phase sampling. Mixtures of volatile compounds covering a wide range of volatility (bp. 20–256°C) and different chemical classes were introduced by liquid spiking into sorbent tubes with one of the two porous polymers, Tenax TA or XAD-2, and analyzed by TD/GC–MS. At first, an internal standard mixture composed of 17 authentic standards was used to optimize desorption temperature with respect to sorbent degradation and loading time for calibration. Secondly, we tested the detectability of a complex standard mixture composed of 57 volatiles, most of them common constituents of the body odor of mammals. Moreover, the performance of XAD-2 compared with Tenax TA was assessed as limit of quantitation and linearity for the internal standard mixture and 33 compounds from the complex standard mixture. Volatiles were analyzed in a range between 0.01–∼250ng/tube depending on the compound and material. Lower limits of quantitation were between 0.01 and 3 ng±<25% RSD (R2 >0.9). Interestingly, we found different kinetics for compound adsorption with XAD-2, and a partially better sensitivity in comparison with Tenax TA. For these analytes, XAD-2 might be recommended as an alternative of Tenax TA for TD/GC–MS analysis.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S002196731730972X

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