Field trial and modeling of uptake rates of in situ lipid-free polyethylene membrane passive sampler

Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Jun 15;42(12):4486-93. doi: 10.1021/es702657n.


Lipid-free polyethylene membrane tubing (LFT) has been further developed in response to a growing need for an inexpensive and simple time-integrative sampling device for dissolved hydrophobic contaminants in water. The LFT sampler is based on the diffusion of dissolved hydrophobic target compounds through the aqueous boundary layer and into the polyethylene membrane, mimicking uptake by organisms. We demonstrate through laboratory and field validation studies that LFT provided the same benefits as many other passive sampling devices, withoutthe potential of analytical interference from lipid impurities. A total of 370 LFTs and semipermeable membrane devices were deployed for 21 days in paired studies at highly urbanized, undeveloped, and two Superfund sites, representing several river conditions. A simple internal surrogate spiking method served as an in situ calibration indicator of the effects of environmental conditions on the uptake rates. A modified extraction method for the LFT increased recoveries while decreasing solvent use and labor compared to other organic extraction procedures. LFT sampling rates were estimated using ratios, in situ calibration and modeling for over 45 target analytes, including PAHs, PCBs, and pesticides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Polyethylene / chemistry*
  • Quality Control


  • Lipids
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Polyethylene