Cave Air Analysis with Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Authors

  • Gyula Nyerges
    Affiliation

    Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, 4 Szt. Gellért tér, Hungary

  • Dénes Szieberth
    Affiliation

    Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, 4 Szt. Gellért tér, Hungary

  • Judit Mátyási
    Affiliation

    Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, 4 Szt. Gellért tér, Hungary;

    B&B Analytics Ltd., H-2030 Érd, 60 Terasz u., Hungary

  • József Balla
    Affiliation

    B&B Analytics Ltd., H-2030 Érd, 60 Terasz u., Hungary

https://doi.org/10.3311/PPch.17854

Abstract

Gas chromatography (GC) is a frequently used analytical method for the determination of permanent and organic air components. The analysis usually needs two different columns in practice. The molecular sieve stationary phase can separate oxygen, nitrogen and carbon monoxide, but irreversibly adsorbs carbon dioxide and water. Porapak type columns are applicable for the measurement of carbon dioxide, however oxygen, argon, nitrogen and carbon monoxide are co-eluted. Usually these two types of columns are used in parallel for the determination. Carboxen stationary phase can separate carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, but argon, oxygen and nitrogen are co-eluted. Thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and flame ionization detector (FID) are used commonly together for the determination of the separated components. TCD is applied for permanent gas analysis whereas FID – combined with a methanizer – is used for the detection of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and light hydrocarbons. Mass spectrometer (MS) is also a potential detector, because the properly chosen fragment ions can increase the selectivity.
We developed a method for the determination of air components, using only one column and one detector. This method is suitable for the measurements by combining the advantages of the carboxen column with mass spectrometry. The validation parameters of the method were in the acceptable interval, so this method is able to determine the air components. The application of this technique to the analysis of cave air provided valuable information to the exploration of the Molnár János cave system.

Keywords:

gas chromatography mass spectrometry, cave air analysis, carboxen column, single column separation

Published Online

2021-05-19

How to Cite

Nyerges, G., Szieberth, D., Mátyási, J., Balla, J. “Cave Air Analysis with Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry”, Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 65(3), pp. 416–423, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3311/PPch.17854

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Articles