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Anal Chim Acta. 2012 Jan 27;712:162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2011.11.014. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Comparison of storage stability of odorous VOCs in polyester aluminum and polyvinyl fluoride Tedlar® bags.

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Department of Environment & Energy, Sejong University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Whole air sampling using containers such as flexible bags or rigid canisters is commonly used to collect samples of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in air. The objective of this study was to compare the stability of polyester aluminum (PEA) and polyvinyl fluoride (PVF, brand name Tedlar(®)) bags for gaseous VOC sampling. Eight VOC standards (benzene, toluene, p-xylene, styrene, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, butyl acetate, and isobutyl alcohol) were placed into each bag at storage times of 0, 2, and 3 days prior to analyses by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). From each bag representing each storage day, samples of 3 different mass loadings were withdrawn and analyzed to derive response factors (RF) of each chemical between the slope of the GC response (y-axis) vs. loaded mass (x-axis). The relative recoveries (RR) of VOC, if derived by dividing RF value of a given storage day by that of 0 day, varied by time, bag type, and VOC type. If the RR values after three days are compared, those of methyl isobutyl ketone were the highest with 96 (PVF) and 99% (PEA); however, the results of isobutyl alcohol were highly contrasting between the two bags with 31 and 94%, respectively. Differences in RR values between the two bag types increased with storage time, such that RR of PEA bags (88±10%) were superior to those of PVF bags (73±22%) after three days, demonstrating that VOC in PEA bags were more stable than in PVF bags.

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