A Field-Portable Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometer for Real-time Quantitation and Spatial Mapping of Atmospheric and Aqueous Contaminants

Environmental concentrations of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOC/SVOCs) can vary dramatically in time and space under the influence of environmental conditions. In an industrial setting, multiple point and diffuse sources can contribute to fugitive emissions. Assessments and monitoring programs using periodic grab sampling provide limited information, often with delay times of days or weeks. We report the development and use of a novel, portable membrane introduction mass spectrometry (MIMS) system capable of resolving and quantifying VOC and SVOCs with high spatial and temporal resolution, in the field, in real-time. An electron impact ionization cylindrical ion trap mass spectrometer modified with a capillary hollow fiber polydimethylsiloxane membrane interface was used for continuous air and water sampling. Tandem mass spectrometry and selected ion monitoring scans performed in series allowed for the quantitation of target analytes, and full scan mode was used to survey for unexpected analytes. Predeployment and in-field external calibrations were combined with a continuously infused internal standard to enable real-time quantitation and monitor instrument performance. The system was operated in a moving vehicle with internet-linked data processing and storage. Software development to integrate MIMS and relevant meta-data for visualization and geospatial presentation in Google Earth is presented. Continuous quantitation enables the capture of transient events that may be missed or under-represented by traditional grab sampling strategies. Real-time geospatial maps of chemical concentration enable adaptive sampling and in-field decision support. Sample datasets presented in this work were collected in Northern Alberta in 2010–2012.

Organizations: Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (AERL), Chemistry Department Vancouver Island University

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Additional Info

Field Value
Short Name of Publication https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13361-014-1028-3
Deliverable Type
Program Catagory Standards, QC/QA, Data MGMT
Program Type OSM
Author Ryan J. Bell,Nicholas G. Davey,Morten Martinsen,Christian Collin-Hansen,Erik T. Krogh,Christopher G. Gill
Periodical Title Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Year of Publication 2014
Publishing Organization
Month of Publication
Periodical Volumes 26(2)
Page Range 212-223
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1007/s13361-014-1028-3
Online ISBN/ISSN 1879-1123
Print ISBN/ISSN 1044-0305
Recomended Citation Bell, R. J., Davey, N. G., Martinsen, M., Collin-Hansen, C., Krogh, E. T., & Gill, C. G. (2014). A Field-Portable Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometer for Real-time Quantitation and Spatial Mapping of Atmospheric and Aqueous Contaminants. Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 26(2), 212–223. doi:10.1007/s13361-014-1028-3