Increasing sample throughput in method 8260 using the novel oven design of the Clarus 600 GC/MS

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Courtesy of PerkinElmer, Inc.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 8260 – volatile organic analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) – is one of the most common GC/MS methods performed in environmental laboratories. To increase profits and meet customer needs, many environmental laboratories need to analyze more samples faster, increasing throughput. Achieving high levels of throughput in Method 8260 requires labs to maximize the efficiency of many different steps of the analysis, of which the most important is the GC/MS portion. The technique presented here utilizes modifications to typical instrumental parameters to dramatically increase sample throughput.

Experimental
The experimental conditions used in this study are summarized in Tables 1 and 2 (Page 2). The largest improvement in throughput was achieved with the use of the fast-cooling capabilities of the PerkinElmer® Clarus® 600 GC. The novel oven design of the Clarus 600 GC allows for the oven to cool from 240 °C to 30 °C and become ready for a subsequent injection in approximately 7 minutes.

Additionally, the PerkinElmer TurboMatrix™ Headspace Trap sample-introduction technology will keep pace with the GC because of its ability to simultaneously equilibrate up to 12 samples; at the moment the GC becomes ready, the TurboMatrix Headspace Trap initiates the next sample analysis.

The analytical standards used in this study were diluted in methanol with the final analytical solutions prepared in reagent water. 10 mL of the final solution was drawn into a 10-mL syringe; internal standards and surrogates were added to the solution while it remained within the 10-mL syringe to reduce volatile losses. 10 mL of the final solution was gently added to each 22-mL headspace vial.

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