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Photothermal desorption of single-walled carbon nanotubes and coconut shell-activated carbons using a continuous light source for application in air sampling.

Floyd EL; Sapag K; Oh J; Lungu CT
Ann Occup Hyg 2014 Aug; 58(7):877-888
Many techniques exist to measure airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs), each with differing advantages; sorbent sampling is compact, versatile, has good sample stability, and is the preferred technique for collecting VOCs for hygienists. Development of a desorption technique that allows multiple analyses per sample (similar to chemical desorption) with enhanced sensitivity (similar to thermal desorption) would be helpful to field hygienists. In this study, activated carbon (AC) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) were preloaded with toluene vapor and partially desorbed with light using a common 12-V DC, 50-W incandescent/halogen lamp. A series of experimental chamber configurations were explored starting with a 500-ml chamber under static conditions, then with low ventilation and high ventilation, finally a 75-ml high ventilation chamber was evaluated. When preloaded with toluene and irradiated at the highest lamp setting for 4 min, AC desorbed 13.9, 18.5, 23.8, and 45.9% of the loaded VOC mass, in each chamber configuration, respectively; SWNT desorbed 25.2, 24.3, 37.4, and 70.5% of the loaded VOC mass, respectively. SWNT desorption was significantly greater than AC in all test conditions (P = 0.02-<0.0001) demonstrating a substantial difference in sorbent performance. When loaded with 0.435 mg toluene and desorbed at the highest lamp setting for 4 min in the final chamber design, the mean desorption for AC was 45.8% (39.7, 52.0) and SWNT was 72.6% (68.8, 76.4) (mean represented in terms of 95% confidence interval). All desorption measurements were obtained using a field grade photoionization detector; this demonstrates the potential of using this technique to perform infield prescreening of VOC samples for immediate exposure feedback and in the analytical lab to introduce sample to a gas chromatograph for detailed analysis of the sample.
Nanotechnology; Measurement-equipment; Volatiles; Organic-chemicals; Organic-compounds; Analytical-instruments; Exposure-chambers; Exposure-methods; Vapor-volume; Vapors; Ventilation; Carbon-compounds; Toluenes; Laboratory-techniques; Laboratory-testing; Exposure-assessment; Thermodynamic-reactions; Photochemical-reactions; Air-sampling-techniques; Air-sampling-equipment; Industrial-hygiene; Author Keywords: air sampling; bucky paper; exposure assessment; industrial hygiene; photothermal desorption; single-walled carbon nanotubes; toluene; VOC
Claudiu T. Lungu, Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35216, USA
7440-44-0; 108-88-3
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008436; Grant-Number-R21-OH-010373; M072014
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Performing Organization
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Page last reviewed: July 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division