Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus

Second Advisor

Joseph W. Bozzelli

Third Advisor

Leonard Dauerman


An improved method for analysis and quantitation of volatile organic compounds in ambient air has been developed. Samples are collected in evacuated SUMMA polished stainless steel canisters using a sampling flow apparatus with a critical orifice as flowrate controller. Analysis of VOCs in the collected air is carried out by cryogenically concentrating the sample, then thermally transfering it onto the head of a capillary column in a gas chromatograph. The column effluent is measured by a parallel flame ionization detector (FID), and electron capture detector (ECD). The problems associating with quantitative transfer of the sample to the initial cryofocusing loop and with injection of the sample to the capillary column (2nd cryofocusing step) created by the relatively high levels of carbon dioxide and moisture in these samples have been evaluated and minimized by optimizing the temperature of the cryogenic trap. The analytical system is sensitive and provides an accurate measurement of VOC concentration in ambient air even if the concentration is as low as 0.02 ppb by volume. The performance of this method was tested during the Northeastern New Jersey - Staten Island, Urban Air Toxics Assessment Project.



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