Recent work in our group has involved the development and application of direct mass spectrometry as an approach to measure trace organic compounds in complex heterogeneous samples. The presentation will review some recent applications including the use of a semi-permeable membrane immersion probe for analysis of naphthenic acids (NAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with oil sands process waters. Whereas conventional chromatographically resolved methods require sample clean-up, direct mass spectrometry can increase sample throughput and provide time-resolved information for in-situ process/reaction monitoring. Mobilizing direct mass spectrometry techniques to the field provides spatially and temporally resolved chemical information. We report some recent work involving the operation of proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer to measure atmospheric volatile organic compounds in a moving vehicle for ‘on-the-fly’ and ‘on-site’ measurements. This includes mapping chemical concentrations and discriminating air masses based on their chemical composition and source. The resulting geo-spatial visualization of chemical data can be employed to assess exposures, map plumes, monitor processes, and ‘adaptively’ collect grab-samples for conventional analysis, when and where they are needed.
Dr. Krogh completed his undergraduate studies in at the University of Toronto with an Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry and a concomitant B.A. in Environmental Studies. He went on to obtain his Ph.D. at the University of Victoria, where he specialized in physical organic chemistry investigating structure-activity relationships in the photochemistry of organic molecules in aqueous media. He is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Vancouver Island University and co-director of the nationally funded Applied Environmental Research Laboratories. He teaches Environmental Chemistry courses including those dealing specifically with aquatic and atmospheric processes as well as the fate and distribution of trace organic contaminants. His current research interests include the development and application of real-time, on-line mass spectrometry techniques to directly investigate environmental chemical processes in complex and reactive media.
Erik Krogh, Ph.D., P.Chem.
Co-Director, Applied Environmental Research Laboratories
Department of Chemistry, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada