Assessing low-temperature thermal treatment techniques for PFAS using TD–GC–MS analysis
This webinar delves into the analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – the “forever chemicals” that are known pose an ever-increasing risk in the environment – using automated thermal desorption coupled to gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (TD–GC–MS).
Our speaker, Dr M. Ariel Geer Wallace of the US EPA, discusses how, during the destruction of fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) and N-Ethyl-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)perfluorooctylsulfonamide (N-Et-FOSE) using low-temperature (200–800 °C) thermal treatment techniques in a tube furnace with calcium oxide (CaO) and a commercial alumina-based catalyst, gaseous samples are collected and analyzed using TD–GC–MS to monitor the degradation of parent PFAS compounds.
Dr Wallace details how the sample re-collection feature of her thermal desorption system allows the same samples to be analysed on multiple instruments and in multiple ionisation modes (such as high-resolution MS (HRMS) in electron ionisation (EI) mode and positive chemical ionization (PCI) mode) to reduce sample collection count and increase the level of information obtained from each sample.
Key learning objectives:
- Gain an understanding of why lower-temperature treatment techniques for PFAS destruction are being researched.
- Learn about the efficiency of CaO and alumina based catalysts when used with thermal treatment techniques
- Understand why it is important to monitor for products of incomplete destruction (PIDs).
- Review how analytical thermal desorption technology coupled to both GC–single quadrupole MS and GC–HRMS is being used to sample and analyse gas streams to monitor the effectiveness of PFAS destruction
Who should watch:
- Researchers interested in PFAS and PFAS destruction
- Laboratory and project managers working with PFAS
- Analysts who want to monitor PFAS destruction efficiency
- Environmental consultants
Dr M. Ariel Geer Wallace
Chemist, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Dr M. Ariel Geer Wallace began working at the EPA in 2015 and started a permanent position in the Air Methods and Characterization Division (AMCD) in 2019. She specializes in methods development for VOC and PFAS sampling and analysis by thermal desorption–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (TD-GC–MS). Current research endeavors include characterization of high- and low-temperature PFAS destruction techniques for source air samples. Dr Wallace has authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications during her career.