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Preservation of Vapor Samples on Adsorbent Alumina Capillaries and Implications for Field Sampling



Megan Harries, Kavita Jeerage


Dynamic vapor microextraction (DVME) is a vapor preconcentration method that employs a capillary trap coated with an adsorbent, followed by solvent elution to recover the sample. DVME has been developed for applications in the laboratory, including highly precise vapor pressure measurements, and in the field. When vapor collection is conducted outside the laboratory, samples must almost always undergo some interval of storage representing the time between collection and analysis. This interval may be hours, days, or longer, depending on the situation. Regardless, in all situations there must be confidence that the integrity of the samples is maintained until processing and analysis. In this paper, we present results of two studies that tested the stability of a 50 % weathered gasoline headspace sample on alumina PLOT (porous layer open tubular) capillaries stored at room temperature for periods from 24 h up to 20 wk. We used principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce the dimensionality of the chromatographic and mass spectral data and elucidate trends in stability with respect to the complex sample's range of hydrocarbon classes and molecular weights. Both analyses identified changes over storage periods of six weeks or more. The hydrocarbon class analysis, which used selected ion monitoring (SIM) data as input, proved more sensitive to changes over shorter storage periods. Sample integrity was preserved for at least 24 h, but losses, especially of high-volatility compounds, occurred by 168 h (7 d). Near total loss of sample occurred by 20 wk. These findings, which are specific to the sample, adsorbent, and storage conditions, will guide choices in experimental and instrumental design to ensure that data from future field studies is reliable.
Journal of Chromatography A


adsorbent, alumina, dynamic vapor microextraction, field sampling, stability, storage


Harries, M. and Jeerage, K. (2021), Preservation of Vapor Samples on Adsorbent Alumina Capillaries and Implications for Field Sampling, Journal of Chromatography A, [online],, (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created December 20, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022