Simultaneous quantitative determination of benzene, toluene, and xylenes in water using mid-infrared evanescent field spectroscopy.

Analytical chemistry

PubMedID: 15117210

Karlowatz M, Kraft M, Mizaikoff B. Simultaneous quantitative determination of benzene, toluene, and xylenes in water using mid-infrared evanescent field spectroscopy. Anal Chem. 2004;76(9):2643-8.
Attenuated total reflection mid-infrared spectroscopy is applied for simultaneous detection and quantification of the environmentally relevant analytes benzene, toluene, and the three xylene isomers. The analytes are enriched into a thin polymer membrane coated onto the surface of an internal reflection waveguide, which is exposed to the aqueous sample. Direct detection of analytes permeating into the polymer coating is performed by utilizing evanescent field spectroscopy in the fingerprint range (>10 microm) of the mid-infrared (MIR) spectrum (3-20 microm) without additional sample preparation. All investigated compounds are characterized by well-separated absorption features in the evaluated wavelength regime. Hence, data evaluation was performed by integration of the respective absorption peaks. Limits of detection lower than 20 ppb (v/v) for all xylene isomers, 45 ppb (v/v) for benzene, and 80 ppb (v/v) for toluene have been achieved. The straightforward experimental setup and the achieved detection limits for these environmentally relevant volatile organic compounds in the low-ppb concentration range reveal a substantial potential of MIR evanescent field sensing devices for on-line in situ environmental analysis.