A method for the collection and analysis of atmospheric formaldehyde (50000) based on solid sorbent tube collection and ion chromatographic analysis is described. Formaldehyde is collected in an oxidizer impregnated charcoal tube and converted to formate. The formate is desorbed from the charcoal and analyzed by the ion chromatographic method. Four samples were generated near the 3 milligram per cubic meter (mg/cu m) standard concentration and were collected at a 500 cubic centimeters per minute (cc/min) sampling rate for 1 hour. A total efficiency of approximately 87 percent was obtained. Actual samples of varying concentrations were generated and collected at 50 and 200 cc/min. These samples were collected on sampling tubes without the 50mg charcoal backup section behind the 100mg adsorbing sections. For samples collected at 200cc/min, the overall recovery was 99 percent. At 50cc/min the overall recovery was 101 percent. Ten samples generated at 16 and 80 microgram/cu m concentrations gave an average recovery of 102.5 percent. The authors conclude that this method can be used for monitoring formaldehyde in the industrial atmosphere, and can also be extended to sampling and analysis of other low molecular weight aldehydes.
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