Trace-level determination of perfluorinated compounds in water by suppressed ion chromatography with inline matrix elimination


This poster describes a simple and sensitive method for the determination of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in water samples by suppressed conductivity detection. Separation was achieved by isocratic elution on a reversed-phase column thermostated at 35 °C using an aqueous mobile phase containing boric acid and acetonitrile. The PFOA and PFOS content in the water matrix was quantified by direct injection applying a 1000 μL loop. For the concentration range of 2 to 50 μg/mL and 10 to 250 μg/mL, the linear calibration curve for PFOA and PFOS yielded correlation coefficients (R) of 0.99990 and 0.9991, respectively. The relative standard deviations were smaller than 5.8%.The presence of high concentrations of mono and divalent anions such as chloride and sulfate has no significant influence on the determination of the perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). In contrast, the presence of divalent cations, such as calcium and magnesium, which are normally present in water matrices, impairs PFOS recovery. This drawback was overcome by applying Metrohm`s Inline Cation Removal. While the interfering divalent cations are exchanged for non-interfering sodium cations, PFOA and PFOS are directly transferred to the sample loop. After inline cation removal, PFAS recovery in water samples containing 350 mg/mL of Ca2+ and Mg2+ improved from 90…115% to 93…107%.While PFAS determination of low salt-containing water samples is best performed by straightforward direct-injection IC, water rich in alkaline-earth metals are best analyzed using Metrohm`s Inline Cation Removal.