Calibration and use of the Chemcatcher passive sampler for monitoring organotin compounds in water

R. Aguilar-Martinez, M. Palacios-Corvillo, Richard Greenwood, Graham Mills, Bran Vrana, M. Gomez-Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An integrative passive sampler (Chemcatcher (R)) consisting of a 47 mm C-18 Empore (TM) disk as the receiving phase overlaid with a thin cellulose acetate diffusion membrane was developed and calibrated for the measurement of time-weighted average water concentrations of organotin compounds [monobutyltin (MBT), dibutyltin (DBT), tributlytin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPhT)] in water. The effect of water temperature and turbulence on the uptake rate of these analytes was evaluated in the laboratory using a flow-through tank. Uptake was linear over a 14-day period being in the range: MBT (3-23 mL day(-1)), DBT (40-200 mL day(-1)), TBT (30-200 mL day(-1)) and TPhT (30-190 mL day(-1)) for all the different conditions tested. These sampling rates were high enough to permit the use of the Chemcatcher' to monitor levels of organotin compounds typically found in polluted aquatic environments. Using gas chromatography (GC) with either ICP-MS or flame photometric detection, limits of detection for the device (14-day deployment) for the different organotin compounds in water were in the range of 0.2-7.5 ng L-1, and once accumulated in the receiving phase the compounds were stable over prolonged periods. Due to anisotropic exchange kinetics, performance reference compounds could not be used with this passive sampling system to compensate for changes in sampling rate due to variations in water temperature, turbulence and biofouling of the surface of the diffusion membrane during field deployments. The performance of the Chemcatcher' was evaluated alongside spot water sampling in Alicante Habour, Spain which is known to contain elevated levels of organotin compounds. The samplers provided time-weighted average concentrations of the bioavailable fractions of the tin compounds where environmental concentrations fluctuated markedly in time. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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