Application of low-temperature CP-Sil 88 column for the isomeric analysis of toxic 2378-substituted PCDD/Fs in incinerator flyash and sewage sludge using a triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS

Jude A. Onwudili*, Yaghoub Hajizadeh, Safari Zainal, John Upton, Paul T. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The seventeen 2378-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzo-p-furans (PCDD/Fs) congeners have been separated and analyzed in sewage sludge and incinerator flyash samples using a CP-Sil 88 column (50 m × 0.25 mm I.D., 0.25 μm film thickness) operating at a maximum oven temperature of 240 °C. The column was used on a Varian 450-GC with a Varian 320-MS Triple Quadrupole. Calibration standards were used to determine the transition chemistries of the 2378-substituted PCDD/F congeners in the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) system. The five-point calibration curve for each of the congeners showed very good linearity with R2 values greater than 0.999. The recovery of labelled compounds ranged from 50% to 120%. Analytical results from a reference flyash (BCR-490) and a reference sewage sludge (BCR-677) compared very well with the certified values, giving percentage deviations in I-TEQ (international toxic equivalents) of 4.93% and 0.53%, respectively. Results from 'real' flyash samples underscored the level of progress made in the abatement of dioxin emissions from incinerators; the old incinerator flyash contained much higher PCDD/F concentrations than the modern one. In addition, the concentrations profiles of PCDD/Fs in the 'real' sewage sludge from two UK wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) showed that one contained a total PCDD/Fs content of 314 ng I-TEQ kg-1, while the other gave a total of 53 ng I-TEQ kg-1. Over an 18-month period of operation, no significant loss of analytical performance was observed from the low-temperature column.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalTalanta
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Analysis/mass spectrometry
  • Dioxins
  • Flyash
  • Furans
  • Sewage sludge

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