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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Logistic and Economic Principles in Gas Chromatography—Mass Spectrometry Use for Plant Uptake Investigations


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 22 No. 1, p. 167-173
    Received: Dec 19, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. G.A. Eiceman,
  2. N.S. Urquhart and
  3. G.A. O'Connor *
  1. D ep. of Statistics, Kidder Hall, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR 97331-4606;
    S oil and Water Science Dep., Box 110510, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0510.



The time and costs for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) analysis of plant matter and sludge-amended soil for organic compound residues have been organized using criteria for individual stages of analysis. The majority of time needed for analysis was found in sample pretreatment, regardless of operating conditions for the GC-MS. Major costs for analysis resided in routine maintenance, depreciation of GC-MS instrumentation, and labor costs. Whereas total variance is dependent upon concentration of the pollutant, precision is governed mainly by the number of field samples measured. Anticipated precision of more than 1 mg kg−1 can be achieved at an initial concentration of 15 mg kg−1 only after analysis of more than 60 field samples. Total analysis times and costs for a representative plant uptake study suggests GC-MS can be an expensive and labor-intensive approach to residue analysis. Findings offered in this analysis may be useful in the design of future experiments and in tempering expectations of advanced analytical instrumentation, in view of variance associated with sludge-amended soil.

Although financial support for this project was supplied in part by Cooperative Agreement CR 812687-02 with the Environmental Protection Agency, this report has not had EPA's required peer and policy review, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the agency.
Contribution from the Agronomy and Horticulture Dep., New Mexico State Univ. Published as Journal Article no. 1622 of the New Mexico Agric. Exp. Stn.

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