EPA Method 8261A

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EPA Method 8261A:
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS BY VACUUM DISTILLATION IN COMBINATION WITH GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY/MASS SPECTROMETRY (VD/GC/MS)

Summary:
This method is used to determine the concentrations of volatile organic compounds, and some low-boiling semivolatile organic compounds, in a variety of liquid, solid, and oily waste matrices, as well as animal tissues. This method differs from the use of method 5032/8260 in the use of internal standards to measure matrix effects and compensate analyte responses for matrix effects. This method is applicable to nearly all types of matrices, including water, soil, sediment, sludge, oil, and animal tissue. This method should be considered for samples where matrix effects are anticipated to severely impact analytical results.

Scope:
Method 8261 uses vacuum to vaporize analytes, separating them from the sample matrix. The volatilized material passes through a condenser column where a majority of vaporized water is condensed. A trap, cooled to cryogenic temperature, then condenses the analytes that have been volatilized from the sample and have passed through the condenser column. The volatile compounds are introduced into the gas chromatograph by a vacuum distiller. The responses of analytes separated by the gas chromatograph (GC) are measured by a mass spectrometer and interfaced to the gas chromatograph.