Development of a novel passive sampling system for the time-averaged measurement of a range of organic pollutants in aquatic environments

J. Kingston, Richard Greenwood, Graham Mills, G. Morrison, L. Bjorklund Persson

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A new sampling system has been developed for the measurement of time-averaged concentrations of organic micropollutants in aquatic environments. The system is based on the diffusion of targeted organic compounds through a rate-limiting membrane and the subsequent accumulation of these species in a bound, hydrophobic, solid-phase material. It provides a novel and robust solution to the problem of monitoring in situations where large temporal fluctuations in pollutant levels may occur. Accumulation rates are regulated by choice of diffusion-limiting membrane and bound solid-phase material and have been found to be dependent on the physico-chemical properties of individual target analytes. Two separate prototype systems are described: one suitable for the sampling of non-polar organic species with log octanol/water partition coefficient (log P) values greater than 4, the other for more polar species with log P values between 2 and 4. Both systems use the same solid-phase material (47 mm C18 Empore™ disk) as a receiving phase but are fitted with different rate-limiting membrane materials (polysulfone for the polar and polyethylene for the non-polar analytes). The two systems complement each other and together can be used for sampling a wider range of organic analytes than generally possible using current passive sampling techniques. Calibration data are presented for both devices. In each case, linear uptake kinetics were sustained, under constant conditions, for deployment periods of between 1 and 9 days. The effects of water temperature and turbulence on sampling rates have been quantitatively assessed. The performance of the system was further investigated by means of field exposures for one and two weeks in marine environments where calibrated samplers were used to determine the time-averaged concentrations of the polar biocides diuron and irgarol 1051. The quantitative results obtained using the passive sampler were compared with those obtained using spot sampling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-495
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000


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