Implementation of novel SPME Arrow for the trace-level analysis of taste and odor compounds in drinking water

Decaying algae blooms that occur in drinking water sources sometimes release “earthy” and “musty” odor compounds (2-methylisoborneol, or MIB, and geosmin – shown in Figure 1). This aroma is a major source of public complaints about unpleasant tasting drinking water. Although odor is only regulated by a secondary maximum contaminant level (a non-mandatory water quality standard), it is critical for utilities and environmental laboratories to accurately identify and quantify specific compounds potentially involved in Taste and Odor (T&O) events. Therefore, a highly sensitive, robust, accurate, and high-throughput technique is required for the analysis of MIB and geosmin at concentrations down to their odor threshold levels (low ng/L). Standard Method 6040 details several sample introduction methods that can be used for trace-level analysis of MIB and geosmin in drinking water samples. Included are closed-loop stripping analysis, purge and trap, and solid phase microextraction (SPME). SPME is the most rapid method that is capable of achieving comparable sensitivity, when coupled with GCMS. The use of SPME Arrow, however, which is more sensitive and robust than conventional SPME fibers, has not been evaluated for use with this method. In this work, we implemented Standard Method 6040D with SPME Arrow, rather than SPME fiber, for the analysis of MIB and geosmin at levels that would occur in T&O events. This workflow will help utilities and environmental labs in managing T&O events quickly and accurately.

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Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
Analysis of Taste and Odor (T&O), Drinking Water, Environmental, GCMS-QP2020 NX Single Quadrupole GC-MS, AOC-6000 Plus Multifunctional Autosampler
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