Author(s): HoSang Shin, HyeSil Ahn
A gas chromatographic–mass spectrometric method has been developed for rapid and sensitive determination of odorous compounds in water. The water sample (200 mL), at pH 6.5, was extracted with 1 mL pentane in a 250-mL separatory funnel. Fluorobenzene was added to the water sample as internal standard and the solution was mechanically shaken for 5 min and analyzed by GC–MS, with selected ion monitoring, without further concentration or purification steps. The peaks had good chromatographic properties and extraction of the compounds from water resulted in relatively high recoveries with small variations. The detection limits of the assay were 0.1 ng L−1 for 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine, 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine, 2-methylisoborneol, and geosmin, 0.5 ng L−1 for anisole, and 1.0 ng L−1 for 2,4,6-trichloroanisole and trans, trans-2,4-heptadienal. Turn-around time was one day for up to approximately 40 samples. The method is simple, convenient, and can be learned easily by relatively inexperienced personnel. It was used to analyze seven odorous compounds in water from Decheung-Lake in Korea, and raw and treated water originating from the same lake. In the summer of 2001 significant levels of anisole (up to 225 ng L−1) were observed, and geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol were detected at concentrations of up to 23.8 and 26.7 ng L−1, respectively. 2-Isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine, 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine, and trans, trans-2,4-heptadienal levels during that period were not significant. The method can used for simultaneous detection of several odorous compounds in water.