Trace measurement of aldehydes without derivatization

Franz Kramp, Shimadzu Europe (DE)

Aldehydes and especially their smallest representative formaldehyde are known human carcinogens and of great importance in chemical industry. Due to the volatility and possible health implications of the compounds, it is important to monitor potential emissions from various materials. If the latter have possible indoor applications such as composite wood products, insulation materials and – of course – water, they are of special interest. Indoor air in domestic and workplace environments is often contaminated by aldehyde outgassing from floor- wall- and ceiling coverings and furniture. Until now, measurement of these compounds via headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC) required prior derivatization. For example, transformation into oximes via PFBHA was carried out in order to improve the stability and detector response for these analytes. The barrier ionization discharge (BID) detector uses helium plasma ionization and combines high sensitivity and stability with universal detection capabilities. This novel detection option makes preliminary derivatization of aldehydes obsolete and permits their direct measurement via HS-GC. Automated sample preparation is achieved with an HS-20 automated headspace sampler. For solid matrices, such as wooden materials, a standard addition procedure is implemented for quantifying the aldehyde contents. Sample disintegration, weighed amounts as well as spiked amounts of water and standard are chosen according to the individual sample material and its analyte content. With detection limits in the range of 0.17 to 0.02 ppm (for the example of formaldehyde in water) this method is a suitable, novel option for a sensitive, reliable and user-friendly determination of aldehydes in various matrices.


Pen Profile (of presentor Franz Kramp)

Since 1999 working for Shimadzu Europe. First as Product Specialist responsible for application and technical support. Since 2013 Product Manager responsible for Shimadzu Gas Chromatography in Europe.

Worked at the Research Center in Jülich. Development of automated techniques for trace gas measurements in atmosphere.

Worked at University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), on kinetics of degradation processes for atmospheric pollutants.

PhD thesis in Atmospheric Science at Research Center in Jülich (Germany), research on degradation of atmospheric pollutants within the Tropospheric Ozone Research (TOR), a EUROTRAC subproject


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