Aliphatic Amines AnalysisThis blog post features a new application for an area constantly in the news: toxic air pollution. Stories in recent weeks have ranged from air pollution being linked to chronic heart disease, studies saying that the pollution from open-fire cooking may affect child cognitive development, and a USC study that says short-term reductions in air pollution in Beijing dramatically improved health! (Actually, just googling the words “toxic air pollution” brings up almost 10 million results.)

The application note presented here features an efficient high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method using fluorescence detection coupled with automatic precolumn derivatization for the determination of aliphatic amines, considered to be hazardous to human health. These amines are a source of toxic air pollution due to their widespread use in industry, thus making it necessary to monitor their presence at low concentrations in the atmosphere.

Application Note 1012: Automatic Precolumn Derivatization for the HPLC Determination of Aliphatic Amines in Air (downloadable PDF) describes the determination of the aliphatic amines ethanolamine, methylamine, ethylamine, diethylamine, n-propylamine, n-butylamine, and n-hexylamine in air samples and shows good results. The method detection limits of each analyte tested were ≤20 µg/L. Analyte recoveries ranged from 85 to 95%, demonstrating high method accuracy.

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The method also demonstrates that automatic precolumn derivatization eliminates tedious manual procedures, reduces error, and thereby increases method reproducibility. This technique is performed using an autosampler and controlled by our chromatography data system software (Thermo Scientific Dionex Chromeleon Chromatography Data System software). The derivatized amines were separated using our reversed-phase LC column (Thermo Scientific Dionex Acclaim Polar Advantage II column), and detected by our rapid separation fluorescence detector (Thermo Scientific Dionex ESA FLD-34000 Rapid Separation Fluorescence Detector).

By the way, we recently released our Fluorescence Method Development Handbook (downloadable PDF) to assist our customers in this technique.

Do let us know in the Comments box below if you are interested testing for other contaminants and pollutants in air; our experts will be pleased to hear from you.