Quantitative Detection of Benzene in Toluene- and Xylene-Rich Atmospheres Using High-Kinetic-Energy Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)

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Langejuergen, J.; Allers, M.; Oermann, J.; Kirk, A.T.; Zimmermann, S.: Quantitative Detection of Benzene in Toluene- and Xylene-Rich Atmospheres Using High-Kinetic-Energy Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS). In: Analytical Chemistry 86 (2014), S. 11841-11846. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/ac5034243

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One major drawback of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is the dependence of the response to a certain analyte on the concentration of water or the presence of other compounds in the sample gas. Especially for low proton affine analytes, e.g., benzene, which often exists in mixtures with other volatile organic compounds, such as toluene and xylene (BTX), a time-consuming preseparation is necessary. In this work, we investigate BTX mixtures using a compact IMS operated at decreased pressure (20 mbar) and high kinetic ion energies (HiKE-IMS). The reduced electric field in both the reaction tube and the drift tube can be independently increased up to 120 Td. Under these conditions, the water cluster distribution of reactant ions is shifted toward smaller clusters independent of the water content in the sample gas. Thus, benzene can be ionized via proton transfer from H3O+ reactant ions. Also, a formation of benzene ions via charge transfer from NO+ is possible. Furthermore, the time for interaction between ions and neutrals of different analytes is limited to such an extent that a simultaneous quantification of benzene, toluene, and xylene is possible from low ppbv up to several ppmv concentrations. The mobility resolution of the presented HiKE-IMS varies from R = 65 at high field (90 Td) to R = 73 at lower field (40 Td) in the drift tube, which is sufficient to separate the analyzed compounds. The detection limit for benzene is 29 ppbv (2 s of averaging) with 3700 ppmv water, 12.4 ppmv toluene, and 9 ppmv xylene present in the sample gas. Furthermore, a less-moisture-dependent benzene measurement with a detection limit of 32 ppbv with ca. 21 000 ppmv (90% relative humidity (RH) at 20 °C) water present in the sample gas is possible evaluating the signal from benzene ions formed via charge transfer.
License of this version: ACS AuthorChoice License
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2014
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informatik

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