Detection of volatile organic compounds by temperature-programmed desorption combined with mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

Raimo A. Ketola (Corresponding Author), Jari T. Kiuru, Virpi Tarkiainen, Juha T. Kokkonen, Jaakko Räsänen, Tapio Kotiaho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) device connected to a mass spectrometer was used to detect volatile organic compounds from air samples. The main aim was to develop an analytical method, by which both non-polar and polar organic components can be detected in the same run. In TPD, the adsorbed compounds are desorbed from the resin more slowly than in the conventional trapping techniques, such as purge-and-trap technique, in which the resin is flash-heated and the compounds are desorbed at the same time to a cryogenic trap or an analytical column. In TPD, the adsorbent resin acts also as an analytical column. In this way it is possible to obtain more rapid analysis, and also a more simple instrumentation, which can be used on-line and on-site. In this work, a new version of TPD device, which uses a resistor for heating and a Peltier element for rapid cooling, was designed and constructed. Various adsorbent resins were tested for their adsorption and desorption properties of both polar and non-polar compounds. When using a mixture of adsorbent resins, Tenax TA and HayeSep D, it was possible to analyze both polar, low-molecular weight compounds, such as methanol and ethanol, and non-polar volatile organic compounds, such as benzene and toluene, in the same run within 15 min including sampling. The same TPD principle was also tested using a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer as an analytical instrument, and the results showed that it was possible to obtain a separation of similar compounds, such as hexane and heptane, and still retaining the same sensitivity as the original on-line FTIR instrument.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-251
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • volatile organic compound
  • temperature-programmed desorption
  • mass spectrometry
  • air analysis
  • fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • infrared spectroscopy

Cite this