Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Kebbekus, Barbara B.

Second Advisor

George Y. Lei

Third Advisor

S. Mitra


The determination of trace levels of organic compounds in water samples is well developed for the less polar compounds, but the polar compounds are more difficult. The development of reliable and reproducible methods for such compounds as volatile alcohols and ketones is necessary if environmental monitoring is to be extended to these compounds.

The purge-and-trap method is frequently used for determination of volatiles in water samples. The method has problems when hydrophylic substances are being analyzed, since these are less easy to purge from the solution and more difficult to trap and desorb quantitatively. The high amount of water carried over into the trap from prolonged purging or higher purge temperature adds to the difficulty in injecting a sharp plug of analyte onto the high resolution gas chromatographic column.

This study focused on the definition of conditions for accurate purge and trap analysis of various types of water samples for the polar compounds. Standards and spiked samples have been tested under varying conditions to determine the best conditions for quantitative transfer of compounds to the GC column. The optimum operation parameters have been obtained. The recovery of the target polar compounds is between 75 — 114% in various types of aqueous matrices. The precision of the method is less than 15% for determination of trace polar compounds. The method detection limit ranged from 0.5 — 5 ppb. The results obtained by using the method to analyze the target polar compounds in water samples are satisfied.

Included in

Chemistry Commons



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