EPA Method 23

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EPA Method 23:
Determination of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans from Municipal Waste Combustors

A sample is withdrawn isokinetically from the gas stream and collected in the sample probe, on a glass fiber filter, and on a packed column of adsorbent material. The sample cannot be separated into a particle and vapor fraction. The PCDD's and PCDF's are extracted from the sample, separated by high resolution gas chromatography (HRGC), and measured by high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS).

This method is applicable to the determination of emissions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD's) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF's) from stationary sources.

The official copy of this method is available at 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 60, Appendix A. The CFR can be accessed on-line at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html

None Specified

QC Requirements:
(A) Internal Standard Percent Recoveries. A group of nine carbon-labeled PCDDs and PCDFs representing the tetra- through octachlorinated homologues, is added to every sample prior to extraction. The role of the internal standards is to quantify the native PCDD's and PCDF's present in the sample as well as to determine the overall method efficiency.(B) Surrogate Standard Recoveries/Sampling Train Collection Efficiency Check. Five surrogate compounds are added to the resin in the adsorbent sampling cartridge before the sample is collected. The surrogate recoveries are measured relative to the internal standards and are a measure of the collection efficiency.(C) Toluene QA Rinse: The adsorbent must be checked for residual toluene prior to use.(D)Audit Sample Requirement: When the method is used to analyze samples to demonstrate compliance with a source emission regulation, an audit sample must be analyzed, subject to availability. Analyze an audit sample with each set of compliance samples. The audit sample contains tetra through octa isomers of PCDD and PCDF. Concurrently analyze the audit sample and a set of compliance samples in the same manner to evaluate the technique of the analyst and the standards preparation. The same analyst, analytical reagents, and analytical system shall be used both for the compliance samples and the EPA audit sample.



Varies with Analyte


The limits presented represent the lowest calibration point for a standard. Method 23 also provides an equation for calculating the mininum detectable limit.

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