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Small-footprint, field-deployable LC/MS system for on-site analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in soil
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are emerging environmental pollutants of global concern. For rapid field site evaluation, there are very few sensitive, field-deployable analytical techniques. In this work, a portable lightweight capillary liquid chromatography (capLC) system was coupled with a small footprint portable mass spectrometer and configured for field-based applications. Further, an at-site ultrasound-assisted extraction (pUAE) methodology was developed and applied with a portable capLC/mass spectrometry (MS) system for on-site analysis of PFASs in real soil samples. The influential variables on the integration of capLC with MS and on the resolution and signal intensity of the capLC/MS setup were investigated. The important parameters affecting the efficiency of the pUAE method were also studied and optimized using the response surface methodology based on a central composite design. The mean recovery for 11 PFASs ranged between 70 and 110%, with relative standard deviations ranging from 3 to 12%. In-field method sensitivity for 12 PFASs ranged from 0.6 to 0.1 ng/g, with wide dynamic ranges (1–600 ng/g) and excellent linearities (R2 > 0.991). The in-field portable system was benchmarked against a commercial lab-based LC–tandem MS (MS/MS) system for the analysis of PFASs in real soil samples, with the results showing good agreement. When deployed to a field site, 12 PFASs were detected and identified in real soil samples at concentrations ranging from 8.1 ng/g (for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) to 2935.0 ng/g (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid).
Publication titleAnalytical Chemistry
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherAmer Chemical Soc
Place of publication1155 16Th St, Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20036
Rights statementCopyright 2021 American Chemical Society