Analysis of nonvolatile species in a complex matrix by headspace gas chromatography

J Chromatogr A. 2001 Feb 16;909(2):249-57. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9673(00)01085-2.


This study developed a phase reaction conversion (PRC) headspace gas chromatographic (HS-GC) technique for the measurements of nonvolatile species in liquid or solid samples. The technique is demonstrated by the measurements of carbonate in aqueous carbonate solutions and in kraft pulp mill liquor samples. A very small amount of sulfuric acid (volume of 0.5 ml, concentration of 2 mol/l) is used to acidify a sample of less than 300 microl in volume and convert the dissolved carbonate into carbon dioxide (gas) in a sample vial (reactor) that is analyzed by thermal conductivity detection through a headspace sampler. The carbonate concentrations measured by PRC-HS-GC in seven kraft liquor samples agree very well with those measured using a coulometric and a titrametric method. Simultaneous analysis of multiple species was also conducted to demonstrate the versatility of the method. The present method is very simple, rapid, reliable, accurate, and fully automated. It can be applied to analyze other nonvolatile species in various industrial and environmental samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Carbon Dioxide / chemistry
  • Chromatography, Gas / methods*
  • Industrial Waste
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Industrial Waste
  • Carbon Dioxide