On-line detection and quantification of trace impurities in vaporisable samples by direct liquid introduction process mass spectrometry

Andrew W. Owen, Alison Nordon, David Littlejohn, Thomas P. Lynch, J. Steven Lancaster, Robert G. Wright

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Abstract

A thermal vaporiser has been designed for analysis of liquid streams by a process mass spectrometer normally used for gas analysis. Concentrations of benzene, toluene and o-xylene at mg kg-1levels in ethanol were determined from continuous vaporisation of the liquid. Ions with m/z values of 39, 57, 73, 77, 78, 91, 92 and 106 were selected and the optimal regression model (multiple linear regression with mean-centring) was found using an automated design of experiments approach to calibration model selection. It was discovered that the linearity of the response allowed excellent calibration to be performed using only four standards (at 0 and 110 mg kg-1for each of the three analytes) and that there were minimal inter-analyte interferences. The detection limit of benzene, toluene and o-xylene was 0.5, 0.8 and 0.5 mg kg-1, respectively. Average differences between the actual and predicted concentrations, expressed as a percentage of the actual concentrations, for 27-82 mg kg-1of benzene, toluene and o-xylene were 0.5-1.4%, 0.0-0.4% and 0.3-1.6%, respectively, while the average relative standard deviations were 1.3-2.6%, 1.0-2.5% and 1.1-2.3%, respectively. Detection of 3 mg kg-1changes in the concentration of each of the analytes (at the 36 mg kg-1level) was also demonstrated, indicating the sensitivity of the technique and the potential ability of the procedure to detect minor deviations in the specification of process streams from continuous analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8148-8153
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Methods
Volume6
Issue number20
Early online date31 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • thermal vaporiser
  • gas analysis
  • calibration model

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