Environmental analytical methods

Simultaneous determination of ten taste and odor compounds in drinking water by solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Xichao Chen , Qian Luo , Shengguang Yuan , Zi Wei , Hanwen Song , Donghong Wang , Zijian Wang


Received January 11, 2013,Revised March 25, 2013, Accepted , Available online November 01, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 2313-2323

Taste and odor (T&O) problems in drinking water frequently occur because of many compounds present in the water, of which trans-1,10-dimethyl-trans-9-decalol (geosmin) and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) are well-known. In this study, a fast and effective method was established for simultaneous determination of 10 T&O compounds, including geosmin, MIB, 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), 2-methylbenzofuran, 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine (IPMP), 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine (IBMP), cis-3-hexenyl acetate, trans,trans-2,4-heptadienal, trans, cis-2,6-nonadienal, and trans-2-decenal in water samples by headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. An orthogonal array experimental design was used to optimize the effects of SPME fiber, extraction temperature, stirring rate, NaCl content, extraction time, and desorption time. The limits of detection ranged from 0.1 to 73 ng/L were lower than or close to the odor threshold concentrations (OTCs). All the 10 T&O compounds were detected in the 14 water samples including surface water, treatment process water and tap water, taken from a waterworks in Lianyungang City, China. MIB and geosmin were detected in most samples at low concentration. Six T&O compounds (IPMP, IBMP, trans,cis-2,6-nonadienal, 2-methylbenzofuran, trans-2-decenal, and TCA) were effectively decreased in water treatment process (sedimentation and filtration) that is different from cis-3-hexenyl acetate, MIB and geosmin. It is noted that the TCA concentrations at 15.9-122.3 ng/L and the trans,cis-2,6-nonadienal concentrations at 79.9-190.1 ng/L were over 10 times higher than their OTCs in tap water. The variation of the analytes in the all water samples, especially distribution system indicated that distribution system cannot be ignored as a T&O compounds source.

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