Matrix effect in the cryotrapping of gas samples in the ppbv range

M. Görgényi, J. Dewulf, H. Van Langenhove

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A gas mixture containing ppbv concentrations of volatile chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons was prepared in helium, nitrogen, or argon in a plastic (Nalophan) bag, in which it was found the mixture could be safely stored for several days. Samples of the mixture were subsequently analyzed by gas chromatography after direct cryotrapping in an empty metal U-tube. The cooling medium used was liquid nitrogen, liquid argon, or a dry ice-acetone slurry (197 K). The efficiency of cryotrapping in liquid nitrogen was over 90% when the aromatic hydrocarbon mixture was prepared in the helium matrix, but between 50 and 70% when it was prepared in nitrogen or argon, the recovery from the argon matrix being somewhat higher. The poor recovery in nitrogen at 77 K and argon at 87 K was explained by the reduced rate of diffusion to the wall owing to mist or aerosol formation. At 197 K condensation was negligible if the partial pressures were lower than the saturated vapor pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages6
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Air analysis
  • Cryogenic trapping
  • Gas chromatography
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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