Determination of atmospheric particulate-phase polycyclic aromatic hydorcarbons from low volume air samples

Juana Delgado Saborit, Noel Aquilina, Stephen Baker, Stuart Harrad, Claire Meddings, Roy Harrison

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36 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)


This study has tested and optimized different filter media and pre-conditioning methods, extraction methodologies, cleaning techniques and solvents, concentration procedures and GC-MS parameters in order to establish the best methodology to sample and analyze particle-bound PAH collected in low volume samples (1.4 m3). The procedure developed combines the use of quartz fiber filters pre-conditioned at 400 °C for 48 h with a simple extraction procedure and optimized GC-MS parameters. The average method detection limits ranged from 4 to 15 pg m−3 for the 4–7 ring PAHs, precision (RSD) ranged from 0.3 to 9.7% and accuracy ranged from −6 to 25%. This method was validated with the extraction and analysis of the Standard Reference Material 1649a and was tested successfully on samples collected in outdoor microenvironments proving suitable for determination of particle-bound PAH concentrations without interferences in low volume samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalAnalytical Methods
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2010


  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • benzo[a]pyrene
  • low volume sample
  • method development
  • method validation
  • standard reference material
  • gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry
  • airborne particulate
  • ambient air


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