Monitoring Volatile Organic Compounds Using GC and GC-MS: Meeting the Challenge of Protecting the 981-Mile Ohio River

Mar 20, 2018

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Monitoring the 981 miles of the Ohio River is an indispensable component to protecting the designated uses of this waterbody and is a core directive of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) compact established in 1948. ORSANCO's Organics Detection System is a networked array that relies on the cooperative efforts and partnerships with our fixed facility stations, comprising public and private drinking water utilities and commercial industry. This webcast will discuss the challenges of monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over such a large area, and the workflows developed to address this challenge. In particular, we will discuss:

  • The methods used to confirm the presence and verify the absence of VOCs from source water
  • How we use calibrated GC-MS systems for detection of 30 compounds, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenze, and xylene (BTEX) and trihalomethanes (THMs) and potential identification of thousands of volatiles
  • Use of purge and trap technology for pre-treatment and GC or GC­–MS for separation and near real-time monitoring with either autosamplers or a flow-through sample delivery matrix on a process GC instrument
  • The addition of closed network internet access which allows for remote access into instruments for troubleshooting, diagnosing repair, maintenance issues, and the ability to view real time occurrences at any of our monitoring sites

Our capability to consistently and continually monitor water quality river conditions assures ORSANCO's compact in protecting the designated uses of the Ohio River, including the source water for drinking water, recreational water, and aquatic habitat.   



Lila Ziolkowski, MPH, Quality Assurance Officer and Analytical & Environmental Chemist, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission

Wei Liu, Ph.D., MBA, Sr. Marketing Development Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific


Date and Time:

Live: Tuesday, 20 March, 2018 | 11 am EDT | 8 am PDT | 1500 GMT | 1600 CET

After the final airing of the webcast on 20 March, 2018 it will be available on demand until 20 March, 2019. 

Sponsor: Thermo Fisher Scientific

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