EPA Method TO-3

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EPA Method TO-3:
METHOD FOR THE DETERMINATION OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS IN AMBIENT AIR USING CRYOGENIC PRECONCENTRATION TECHNIQUES AND GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY WITH FLAME IONIZATION AND ELECTRON CAPTURE DETECTION

Summary:
Ambient air analyses are performed as follows. A collection trap, as illustrated in Figure 1, is submerged in either liquid oxygen or argon. Liquid argon is highly recommended for use because of the safety hazard associated with liquid oxygen. With the sampling valve in the fill position an air sample is then admitted into the trap by a volume measuring apparatus. In the meantime, the column oven is cooled to a sub-ambient temperature (-50EC). Once sample collection is completed, the valve is switched so that the carrier gas sweeps the contents of the trap onto the head of the cooled GC column. Simultaneously, the liquid cryogen is removed and the trap is heated to assist the sample transfer process. The GC column is temperature programmed and the component peaks eluting from the columns are identified and quantified using flame ionization and/or electron capture detection. Alternate detectors (e.g., photoionization) can be used as appropriate. An automated system incorporating these various operations as well as the data processing function has been described in the literature (8,9).

Scope:
This document describes a method for the determination of highly volatile compounds having boiling points in the range of -10 to 200EC.

Report Number:
600/4-89-017