Standard Test Method for Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds in Atmospheres (Canister Sampling Methodology)
|Publication Date:||1 December 2015|
|ICS Code (Air quality in general):||13.040.01|
This standard describes a procedure for sampling and analysis of selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient, indoor, and workplace atmospheres. The test method is based on the collection of whole air samples in stainless steel canisters with specially treated (passivated) interior surfaces. For sample analysis, a portion of the sample is subsequently removed from the canister and the collected VOCs are selectively concentrated by adsorption or condensation onto a trap, subsequently released by thermal desorption, separated by gas chromatography, and measured by a mass spectrometric detector or other detector(s). This test method describes procedures for sampling into canisters to final pressures both above and below atmospheric pressure (respectively referred to as pressurized and subatmospheric pressure sampling).2
This test method is applicable to specific VOCs that have been determined to be stable when stored in canisters. Numerous compounds, many of which are chlorinated VOCs, have been successfully tested for storage stability in pressurized canisters (1-4).3 Documentation is also available demonstrating stability of VOCs in subatmospheric pressure canisters. Information on storage stability is available for many polar compounds as well (5-7).
The procedure for collecting the sample involves the use of inlet lines, air filters, flow rate regulators for obtaining time-integrated samples, and in the case of pressurized samples, an air pump. Typical long-term fixed location canister samplers have been designed to automatically start and stop the sample collection process using electronically actuated valves and timers (8-10). Temporary or short-term canister samplers may require the user to manually start and stop sample collection. A weatherproof shelter may be required if the sampler is used outdoors. For the purposes of this test method, refer to Practice D1357 for practices and planning ambient sampling events.
The organic compounds that have been successfully measured at single-digit parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv) levels with this test method are listed in Table 1. The test method is applicable to VOC concentrations ranging from the detection limit to approximately 300 ppbv. Above this concentration, smaller sample aliquots of sample gas may be analyzed or samples can be diluted with dry ultra-high-purity nitrogen or air.
The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Safety practices should be part of the user's SOP manual.
2 This test method is based on EPA Compendium Method TO-14, "The Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Ambient Air Using SUMMA Passivated Canister Sampling and Gas Chromatographic Analysis," May 1988.
3 The boldface numbers in parentheses refer to the list of references at the end of the standard.