Research & Teaching Faculty

Quantification of perfluorinated compounds in atmospheric particulate shows potential connection with environmental event

TitleQuantification of perfluorinated compounds in atmospheric particulate shows potential connection with environmental event
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsTang, H, Wang, Y, Si, S, Li, H, Chen, DDY
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Start Page237
Date Published02/2024
Type of ArticleResearch
KeywordsAtmospheric particulate matter, Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, Perfluorinated compounds, Pollution control, Selective pressurized liquid extraction

A method of quantification of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) from atmospheric particulate matter (APM) is described. A single step pretreatment method, selective pressurized liquid extraction (SPLE), was developed to reduce the high matrix background and avoid contamination from commonly used multiple sample pretreatment steps. An effective sorbent was selected to purify the PFCs during SPLE, followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), for quantification of PFCs. Conditions affecting the SPLE efficiency, including temperature, static extraction time, and number of extraction cycles used, were studied. The optimum conditions were found to be 120°C, 10 min, and 3 cycles, respectively. LC-MS/MS method was developed to obtain the optimal sensitivity specific to PFCs. The method detection limits (MDLs) were 0.006 to 0.48 ng/g for the PFCs studied and the linear response range was from 0.1 to 100 ng/g. To ensure accurate values were obtained, each step of the experiment was evaluated and controlled to prevent contamination. The optimized method was tested by performing spiking experiments in natural particulate matter matrices and good rates of recovery and reproducibility were obtained for all target compounds. Finally, the method was successfully used to measure 16 PFCs in the APM samples collected in Beijing over five years from 2015 to 2019. It is observed that some PFCs follow the trend of total PFC changes, and can be attributed to the environment influencing events and policy enforcement, while others don't seem to change as much with time of the year or from year to year.