Environmental Monitoring: Utilizing Efficient Extraction, Separation, and Detection Methods for Application in Routine and Specialized Analyses

  • Author / Creator
    Johnson, Trevor A
  • Environmental analysis is a field that has made significant progress in academic research over the last number of years. Whether it be sampling techniques, sample introduction, separations, or analytical instrumentation, there seems to be no shortage of ideas and innovation to improve the way that environmental analyses could be done on almost any sample type that could be thought of. Interestingly, the field of routine environmental analysis in industry is lagging far behind what we are capable of. Many methods are not only outdated, but they also do not provide the same kind of information that should be capable of them. This is despite breakthroughs that used to be thought of as belonging to “labs of the future” already existing in literature and academia. The question needs to be asked: How can analysis methods be designed so that they are immediately available to the routine environmental analysis industry?
    The answer often lies in the transferability of the techniques and methods being used. Many techniques are used for environmental analyses, but this thesis will focus on adaptations of gas chromatography (GC) advancements, especially for multidimensional separations such as comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC). Time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) is paired with GC×GC for additional identification purposes, when also paired with flame ionization detection (FID) for the most effective quantification of organic compounds. GC×GC-TOFMS is perfectly suited for the effective identification of compounds when using many types of detectors, making it ideal for non-targeted and hybrid target/non-target analysis. This thesis will also focus on a variety of extraction and sample introduction methods for analysis by GC×GC. Being able to analyze many types of samples will help make new routine analyses viable, and being able to adapt multiple methods of sample introduction to a similar method of analysis will help to achieve this viability.
    The work in this thesis is designed to help streamline the process of bringing academic advancements to the routine analysis lab in a way that will be fast, economical, and easy to use. The methods designed are meant to modernize routine analysis of environmental samples. One way this is done is through the use of updated extraction methods for aqueous, solid, and headspace matrices. Another way is by introducing multidimensional chromatography and new data analysis tools for more comprehensive analyses.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.