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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Indicative Project

Low levels of volatile organic compounds by purge and trap GCMS

Background Info

​The method used for the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in water and soil matrices is a purge-and-trap (P&T) gas chromatography (GC)/ mass spectrometry (MS). As the method should encompass a wide range of matrices with an extensive range of concentration limits, it is necessary to have an analytical system that is sensitive enough for the lower restrictions and robust enough for the higher concentrations of VOC components. NMI has recently purchased a new combination P&T concentrator/autosampler which is capable of sampling multiple matrices, and aims to improve the methodology for analysis of VOC.

Project Description

​There is a continuous need to improve the methodologies, in particular detection limits and time efficiency, in environmental testing laboratories. NMI aims to achieve the following:

  • Establish the Linear calibrations and Method Detection Limits (MDLs) for most common traps and
    trap settings
  • Evaluate capabilities and limitations for determination of VOC in soil matrices
  • Evaluate the autosampler’s carryover reduction options
  • Validate an improved methodology
  • Submit for NATA accreditation

Examples of Relevant Sudent Courses

Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Organic Chemistry

Student Level

Honours, Masters, PhD


1 year


North Ryde (NSW)


Analytical Services


Danny Slee

Email Contact

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