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PAMS VOCs Measurements Using Gas Chromatograph Equipped with a Mass Selective and Flame Ionization Detector (GC/MS/FID)

Presented at the Air and Waste Management Association Annual Conference, 2002

Sucha S. Parmar, Vanessa de Vera, and Yang Liu

Atmospheric Analysis and Consulting, Inc., 1534 Eastman Avenue, Suite A, Ventura, CA 93003 (805) 650-1642


The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require the EPA to carry out enhanced monitoring for ozone nonattainment areas in the country to include the monitoring of C2 – C12 hydrocarbons, and to monitor for the hazardous compounds as given in Title III of the amendments. Atmospheric Analysis and Consulting, Inc. (AAC) has been involved in the PAMS program for several years. Hydrocarbons included in the PAMS list are normally sampled using Summa® polished stainless steel canisters followed by high-resolution gas chromatographic analysis and flame ionization detection. Analytical detection and quantitation is based on the comparison with the retention times of all analytes. We describe here a different approach where Summa® canister samples after cryogenic concentration are injected into two identical analytical columns in the same GC followed by simultaneous mass selective and flame ionization detection. In this set-up, identification of each analyte is confirmed with mass selective detector before quantification on FID. This procedure eliminates any errors in misidentification and reporting.

Please contact AAC for a pdf copy of the full paper.