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Investigation of operational fundamentals for vacuum-assisted headspace high-capacity solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatographic analysis of semivolatile compounds from a model solid sample

Author(s): Shannon L. Thomas1, Colton Myers2, Jason S. Herrington2, Kevin A. Schug1

  1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
  2. Restek Corporation, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, USA

Published By: Journal of Separation Science

Issue: Volume 47, Issue 8

Year of Publication: 2024

Link: https://doi.org/10.1002/jssc.202300779

Abstract: Vacuum-assisted headspace solid-phase microextraction (Vac-HS-SPME) is a technique used to enhance SPME sampling of semi-volatile organic compounds. Here, it was combined with a high-capacity SPME Arrow, which features a larger volume of extraction phase and a more rugged configuration than traditional extraction fibers. An in-depth assessment of the critical parameters was conducted to achieve optimal extraction of representative compounds from a model solid sample matrix (Ottawa sand). Operational fundamentals investigated included the types of seals needed to create a leak-free environment under vacuum conditions; the magnitude of the vacuum applied and time needed to activate the Vac kinetics; order of sample vial preparation methods (VPMs); and other standard variables associated with extract analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. When exploring the limits of sample VPMs, results indicated an ideal workflow requires the solid sample to be spiked before sealing the vial, allow the sample to rest overnight, then apply vacuum at a pressure of -677 mbar (out of -789 mbar maximum possible vacuum with pump and compressor used), exerted on the vial for 90 s. This work provides the necessary workflow for the optimization of Vac-HS-SPME sampling of analytes from solid matrices.

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