Qualitative and quantitative analysis of several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Concho River were performed using a solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) technique and gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) instrumentation. The river water samples were collected from the same location daily and notes about the surroundings were kept (i.e., temperature, rainfall from previous day, etc.). These samples were then transported to the Angelo State Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory where they were filtered using a cellulose nitrate micron filter. In order to determine reproducibility of results, an internal standard of naphthalene and anthracene was introduced to the filtered samples. The SPME technique was then used to absorb analytes from the samples. After the allowed absorption time the SPME fiber was injected onto the GC column and chromatographs were produced. From the chromatographic data there was successful identification of three PAHs. These compounds were pyrene, fluoranthene, and benz[a]anthracene. Commercial standards were used to determine the concentrations of these three PAHs to range from 1 to 20 parts per billion (ppb). Future plans include using different SPME fibers in order to extract different PAHs based on relative molecular size (2 and 3 ring PAHs versus 4 and 5 ring PAHs) and using Soxhlet extraction methodology to study PAH levels in river sediments.
Qualitative and Quantitative Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Faculty Mentor Name
Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Research Scholarship Welch Foundation, Grant #AJ0029