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Micromachines 2019, 10(3), 187;

Sub-ppb Level Detection of BTEX Gaseous Mixtures with a Compact Prototype GC Equipped with a Preconcentration Unit

ICPEES UMR 7515, Université de Strasbourg/CNRS, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
Institut Clément Ader (ICA), Université de Toulouse/CNRS, INSA, ISAE-SUPAERO, Mines-Albi, UPS, 31400 Toulouse, France
In’Air Solutions, 25 rue Becquerel, 67087 Strasbourg, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Flows in Microsystems)
PDF [2494 KB, uploaded 19 March 2019]


In this work, a compact gas chromatograph prototype for near real-time benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) detection at sub-ppb levels has been developed. The system is composed of an aluminium preconcentrator (PC) filled with Basolite C300, a 20 m long Rxi-624 capillary column and a photoionization detector. The performance of the device has been evaluated in terms of adsorption capacity, linearity and sensitivity. Initially, PC breakthrough time for an equimolar 1 ppm BTEX mixture has been determined showing a remarkable capacity of the adsorbent to quantitatively trap BTEX even at high concentrations. Then, a highly linear relationship between sample volume and peak area has been obtained for all compounds by injecting 100-ppb samples with volumes ranging from 5–80 mL. Linear plots were also observed when calibration was conducted in the range 0–100 ppb using a 20 mL sampling volume implying a total analysis time of 19 min. Corresponding detection limits of 0.20, 0.26, 0.49, 0.80 and 1.70 ppb have been determined for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m/p-xylenes and o-xylene, respectively. These experimental results highlight the potential applications of our device to monitor indoor or outdoor air quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: preconcentrator; microfluidics; miniaturized gas chromatograph; BTEX; PID detector preconcentrator; microfluidics; miniaturized gas chromatograph; BTEX; PID detector

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lara-lbeas, I.; Rodríguez-Cuevas, A.; Andrikopoulou, C.; Person, V.; Baldas, L.; Colin, S.; Le Calvé, S. Sub-ppb Level Detection of BTEX Gaseous Mixtures with a Compact Prototype GC Equipped with a Preconcentration Unit. Micromachines 2019, 10, 187.

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