MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Re: Is it possible to harvest volatile organic compounds from an air stream

Date: Sun Mar 1 12:10:31 2009
Posted By: Cesar Prado-Fdez,
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1231157445.Ch

Gaseous samples can be analysed by accumulating the possible compound on a
solid phase. The mechanism for this is called adsorption, quite different
from absorption, as it happens on the surface.

The solid phase can be left "as is" in a room or, helped by an air pump,
forcing air through the solid phase. [1]

Subsequent analysis of the adsorbed substances can be performed via gas
chromatography (GC), just by heating the solid phase and releasing the
adsorbed substances into the GC or dissolving these in another organic
solvent such as carbon disulphide (CS2), and this solution injected into
the GC [2,3]

The solid phase commonly used for general purposes is Tenax [4], but
charcoal is specially good for volatile organic compounds, Anasorb 747 for
polar compounds and DNPH for ketones and aldehydes [5,6]

[1] Fifield, Kelley. Principles and practice of analytical chemistry. 5th Ed.
[2] Skoog, Holler, Nieman. Principals of instrumental analysis. 5th Ed
[3] Skoog, West Holler, Crouch. Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry. 8th Ed.

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