GC/MS/MS Analysis of PAHs with Hydrogen Carrier Gas

The Agilent 8890 GC and 7000E triple quadrupole GC/MS system (GC/TQ) with a novel electron ionization (EI) source—the Agilent HydroInert source, which is optimized for hydrogen carrier gas—were used for the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The optimized method using the HydroInert source provides excellent peak shape, sensitivity, and linearity of R2 ≥0.999, which was observed for all 27 analytes over their respective calibration ranges (0.1 to 1,000 pg for 26 analytes and 0.25 to 1,000 pg for one analyte). Method detection limits (MDLs) ranged from 0.03 to 0.16 pg with an average of 0.09 pg. The stability of calculated concentrations over 500 injections is presented, where, with routine maintenance and backflush, injection RSDs were <12% for all analytes. Further, the ability of the Agilent universal Ultra Inert (UI) mid-frit inlet liner to handle a complex matrix is demonstrated. By proper selection of instrument configuration and operating conditions, the system with hydrogen carrier gas can generate results comparable to or better than those with helium.

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