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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2016 Sep;408(24):6567-79. doi: 10.1007/s00216-016-9843-y. Epub 2016 Aug 15.

Systematic comparison of static and dynamic headspace sampling techniques for gas chromatography.

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Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstraße 5, 45141, Essen, Germany.
Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstraße 5, 45141, Essen, Germany.


Six automated, headspace-based sample preparation techniques were used to extract volatile analytes from water with the goal of establishing a systematic comparison between commonly available instrumental alternatives. To that end, these six techniques were used in conjunction with the same gas chromatography instrument for analysis of a common set of volatile organic carbon (VOC) analytes. The methods were thereby divided into three classes: static sampling (by syringe or loop), static enrichment (SPME and PAL SPME Arrow), and dynamic enrichment (ITEX and trap sampling). For PAL SPME Arrow, different sorption phase materials were also included in the evaluation. To enable an effective comparison, method detection limits (MDLs), relative standard deviations (RSDs), and extraction yields were determined and are discussed for all techniques. While static sampling techniques exhibited sufficient extraction yields (approx. 10-20 %) to be reliably used down to approx. 100 ng L(-1), enrichment techniques displayed extraction yields of up to 80 %, resulting in MDLs down to the picogram per liter range. RSDs for all techniques were below 27 %. The choice on one of the different instrumental modes of operation (aforementioned classes) was thereby the most influential parameter in terms of extraction yields and MDLs. Individual methods inside each class showed smaller deviations, and the least influences were observed when evaluating different sorption phase materials for the individual enrichment techniques. The option of selecting specialized sorption phase materials may, however, be more important when analyzing analytes with different properties such as high polarity or the capability of specific molecular interactions. Graphical Abstract PAL SPME Arrow during the extraction of volatile analytes from the headspace of an aqueous sample.


Headspace analysis; ITEX; Microextraction; PAL SPME Arrow; SPME; Sample preparation


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