New Chemical Analysis Tools for Aromatic Hydrocarbons

EPA Grant Number: R829415E02
Title: New Chemical Analysis Tools for Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Investigators: Campiglia, Andres D. , Borgerding, Anthony J. , Swenson, Orven F.
Institution: North Dakota State University Main Campus , University of North Dakota
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Project Period: September 1, 2001 through August 31, 2003 (Extended to February 28, 2005)
Project Amount: $499,105
RFA: EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: EPSCoR (The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)


Our SEER project, entitled "New Chemical Analysis Tools for Aromatic Hydrocarbons," is a focused, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional approach to developing new analysis methodology for an important class of organic contaminants: the aromatic hydrocarbons. Specifically, the research proposed in the SEER section will lead to vastly improved methodology for the selective chemical analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and the xylenes), and the halogenated benzene compounds.


The methodology for PAH analysis is especially important because recent toxicological studies have shown that many carcinogenic PAHs present in the environment are not included in the EPA priority pollutant list, and these PAHs' carcinogenic properties are strongly dependent on molecular structure, significantly differing from isomer to isomer. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to identify individual PAHs in the presence of isomers and congeners, even if present at lower concentrations than sample concomitants. The current analytical methodology is not suited for this task. We shall overcome this limitation with a technique we have developed and named Laser Excited Time-Resolved Shpol'skii Spectrometry (LETRSS). The BTEX species, which are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), will be approached via fast gas chromatography.

Expected Results:

Novel technical components of our approach are: an extremely efficient manner to extract the VOCs from water and a new type of GC detector with a highly specific response to aromatic hydrocarbons (the aromatic specific laser ionization detector, or ArSLID). The GC detector can also be applied to PAH analysis.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 6 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, State, Ecology and Ecosystems, Environmental Engineering, Ecological Indicators, monitoring, ecoindicator, ecological exposure, hydrocarbon, VOCs, BTEX, PAH, estuarine ecoindicator, North Dakota (ND)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • Final Report