Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Susan D. Richardson


This project aims to create an environmentally friendly, robust, and efficient extraction and preconcentration method in both the detection and quantification of various disinfection by-products (DBPs). Vacuum assisted sorbent extraction (VASE) is a newly developed method in the extraction of both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). This extraction method is paired with a Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum Triple Quadrupole GC-MS system for the quantification of DBPs. VASE outperforms current DBP extraction methods, with liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) being the most used alternative, because of its minimal use of solvent, high level of automation, and over-all ease of use. A series of methods is shown for representative compounds from multiple DBP classes. In addition to this, a singular method for the thermal desorption of 44 compounds has been established. In-vial derivatization of the haloacetahldehyes (HALs) is also explored as a novel approach to derivatization for the third largest by weight DBP class. Quantification and qualification of DBPs have been seen as low as 1 ng/L (ppb) in the early stages of method development, with lower detection limits expected with further optimization. Method development explores pH adjustment, agitation speed variation, ionic strength, 2-stage desorption, and in-vial derivatization. Real application of drinking-water and urine samples is also explored.


© 2021, Madison Leigh Kilpatrick

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