Expert Insight: Webinar Highlights: GC-MS Solution Improves Productivity and Reliability of Routine Environmental Testing

Learn how you can improve routine environmental testing to meet EPA standards

30 Jul 2018

Analysis of long-chain petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the soil is of extreme importance following an event such as a petrochemical spill. Analytical testing is highly competitive, placing significant pressure on operating margins, so it is critical to optimize lab efficiency and productivity, and to produce results on time. In a recent SelectScience webinar, two experts in this field discuss the latest techniques when analyzing organic contaminants in soil using EPA regulated methods, and how one environmental laboratory implemented a routine testing solution that has improved productivity and reliability.

In this webinar, titled 'Instrument Demands on Routine Lab Analysis of VOCs in Soil Using EPA Regulated Methods', Mukesh Jani, President and lab director of Torrent Laboratory, a commercial contract laboratory, and Dr. Daniela Cavagnino, GC-MS product marketing manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific, discuss the integration of a new GC-MS solution to increase productivity in the environmental laboratory. The analysis of VOCs in soil after a petrochemical spill was highlighted in a case study, based on U.S. EPA Method 8260, and our speakers cover the evaluation of sampling and analysis techniques to meet the demands of routine testing. 



At the end of the webinar, our guest speakers answer live questions from our listeners, the highlights of this Q&A session can be read below:

Q: What kind of sample matrix do you typically process at Torrent Laboratory?

MJ: We process air, water, and within the water matrix, ground water, effluence drinking water, and soil.


Q: Do you see difficulty in processing one matrix over others?

MJ: Generally, water is much harder because sometimes it contains disinfectants, which are difficult to process. But over the years, we have put in a system that eliminates this problem and now we can process all matrices with this instrument without any difficulty.


Q: What kind of column did you use to achieve under 20 minutes’ run time?

We used a 20-metre column with a width of 1.18 mm


Q: What’s your experience regarding reliability and robustness of the Thermo Scientific™ ISQ™ 7000 Single Quadrupole GC-MS system?

MJ: The ISQ is robust and extremely reliable. We haven’t had any issues with availability or instrument performance for the last 5 years.


Q: Is there an option available for chemical ionization with the Thermo Scientific™ ISQ™ 7000 Single Quadrupole GC-MS system?

DC: Yes, it is available on the ExtractaBrite ion source and with this source we can quickly move from EI to CI operation without venting the MS, which is made possible by the NeverVent technology. The advanced EI source cannot be used for CI operation, but the user can always swap the AEI source with ExtractaBrite every time the CI operation is required.


Q: Is the new ion source only available on a single quadrupole GC-MS?

DC: The new advanced ion source is available on the ISQ 7000 single quadrupole but also available on Thermo Scientific™ TSQ™ 9000 triple quadrupole and both instruments share the same advanced ion source.


Q: Tell us about the advantages of the Thermo Scientific™ eWorkflows

DC: The eWorkflow is embedding, in one single file, the  sequence template of the instrument and the processing metals, the reporting template, and raw data. So, this tool is helpful to simplify the correct sequence creation, as the user just needs to select the eWorkflow that is required and select the number of samples they would like to run. The software will automatically set up the correct sequence with the standards, lengths and the quality control in correct order, process the data and produce the final result. It is a real time saver as it is simplifying the overall operation and is also very useful to easily transfer the entire workflow to another laboratory.


Learn more about how you can increase routing testing efficiency: Watch the webinar on demand >>

This webinar is the second in our 2-part environmental webinar series ‘Long-Chain Petroleum Hydrocarbons Typing, Sample Prep and Analysis of VOCs in Soil by GC-MS’.

Catch Part I here: Analysis of Long-Chain Petroleum Hydrocarbons and VOCs in Soil by GC-MS>>