Establishing an alternative method for the quantitative analysis of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans by comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry for developing countries
Comprehensive Gas Chromatography–Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC × GC–TOFMS) methodology has been refined for the analysis of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in samples with different matrices. This is specifically for application in developing countries where access to gas chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry (GC–HRMS) and highly skilled personnel is limited. The method, using an Rxi-5 Sil MS column in the first dimension (1D) coupled with an Rtx-200 column in the second dimension (2D), was used to quantify PCDDs and PCDFs in different environmental sample matrices. The results were compared with those obtained using GC–HRMS and good agreement was observed. The limit of detection (LOD) for the method (300 fg on column for spiked soil samples) was determined using an Rxi-XLB (1D) column coupled with an Rtx-200 column (2D). Preliminary South African sample results are also discussed. Isomer specificity for different tetrachloro dibenzo-p-dioxins (TCDDs) and tetrachloro dibenzofurans (TCDFs) was investigated using a commercial standard. Adequate resolution was achieved. The method as described has great attraction for developing countries being both financially and operationally favourable.