MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: (Help) Methode for analysing Trichloroethylene

Date: Mon Dec 7 13:39:52 2009
Posted By: Tony Gaglierd, Assistant Professor , Natural Science and Engineering Technology
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1260045750.Ch

Method for analyzing Trichloroethylene

Hi Charlie: Itís not suppressing that you canít find a method for 
analyzing Trichloroethylene using a Hach DR 2500 spectrometer, or other 
such colorimetric device.

Trichloroethylene is only slightly soluble in water that is only a little 
dissolves in water, it can remain in ground water for a long time.

Trichloroethylene quickly evaporates from surface water, so it is 
commonly found as a vapor in the air.

Trichloroethylene is a member of a group of organic compounds called 
volatile organic compounds. The analytical technique for analyzing for 
these types of compounds is called Purge and Trap Chromatographic/Mass 

Volital organic compounds are transferred from the aqueous phase (water) 
by bubbling an inert gas, usually helium, through the water sample 
contained is a specially designed chamber at ambient temperature. The 
vapors are swept through a sorbent trap, the trap is then heated and 
flushed with the same inert gas to desorbe (remove) the compounds and 
sweep then into a gas chromatographic column that separates the 
compounds. The detector is a Mass Spectrometer that identifies the 
compounds based on their atomic mass.

You can find information on the principles of operation of both the gas 
chromatograph and the mass spectrometer in the web.

As for getting your samples analyzed, I would suggest you contact your 
local or state environmental agency. If this is a problem with 
contamination of ground water or a contaminated sight, they would know 
about it, and would have collected samples or have sampling ongoing.

Iím sure they would be glad to show you there laboratory and how samples 
are collected and analyzed.

Another option would be a local college or university. Iím sure they 
would be glad to support an inquiring young scientistís curiosity. Who 
knows you may end up a student there.

Good Luck

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