Author(s): Langenfeld JJ, Hawthorne SB, Miller DJ
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Abstract Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) parameters were examined on water contaminated with hydrocarbons including benzene and alkylbenzenes, n-alkanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Absorption equilibration times ranged from several minutes for low molecular weight compounds such as benzene to 5 h for high molecular weight compounds such as benzo[a]pyrene. Under equilibrium conditions, SPME analysis with GC/FID was linear over 3-6 orders of magnitude, with linear correlation coefficients (r(2)) greater than 0.96. Experimentally determined FID detection limits ranged from ∼30 ppt (w/w hydrocarbon/sample water) for high molecular weight PAHs (e.g., MW > 202) to ∼1 ppb for low molecular weight aromatic hydrocarbons. Experimental distribution constants (K) were different with 100- and 7-μm poly(dimethylsiloxane) fibers, and poor correlations with previously published values suggest that K depends on the fiber coating thickness and the sorbent preparation method. The sensitivity of SPME analysis is not significantly enhanced by larger sample volumes, since increasing the water volume (e.g., from 1 to 100 mL) has little effect on the number of analyte molecules absorbed by the fiber, especially for compounds with K < 500. Water sample storage should utilize silanized glassware, since hydrocarbon losses up to 70\% could be attributed to unsilanized glassware walls when samples were stored for 48 h. Hydrocarbon losses at part-per-billion concentrations also occurred with surface waters due to partitioning onto part-per-thousand concentrations of suspended solids. Quantitative determinations of aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons (e.g., in gasoline-contaminated water) can be performed using GC/MS with deuterated internal standard or standard addition calibration as long as the target components or standards had unique ions for quantitation or sufficient chromatographic resolution from interferences. SPME analysis gave good quantitative performance with surface waters having high suspended sediment contents, as well as with coal gasification wastewater which contained matrix organics at 10(6)-fold higher concentrations than the target aromatic hydrocarbons. Good agreement was obtained between a 45-min SPME and methylene chloride extraction for the determination of PAH concentrations in creosote-contaminated water, demonstrating that SPME is a useful technique for the rapid determination of hydrocarbons in complex water matrices.
This article was published in Anal Chem
and referenced in Chemical Sciences Journal