Relationship between Static Headspace and Vapor Concentration Above Dilute Liquid Solution Methods In the Measurement of Volatile Compounds

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824

The generation of dilute vapor phase standards using the static headspace method can be challenging, requiring the construction of specialized chambers or use special methods for adding minute amounts of the compound of interest. The vapor concentration above a dilute water solution can be effective and accurate and has been used to create standards to measure the concentration for a wide range of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds. Such systems are highly temperature-sensitive, however. The goal of this work is to mathematically describe the relationship between vapor concentration above a dilute water mixture for compounds important to postharvest physiology, such as ethanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate, and hexanol. The experiments were carried out in the range of 0 to 40°C and concentration of 0 to 1000 ppm for each compound. Three replications were used for each data point. The concentration was measured after thermal and chemical equilibration by gas chromatography containing a HAYESSEP-N column, by injecting 1 cc of the vapor headspace, using a 8-cm-long needle Hamilton syringe. Relationships for each of the compounds noted were successfully described employing multiple-order equations. For example, the relationship for ethanol vapor concentration was: Y = 12.12356 + 0.9461594*X + 0.5761110e-01*X2 + 0.6565694E-03*X3 + 0.23499598E-04*X4 (R2 = 1.000), with X being the temperature in °C. The relationships described for those compounds provides an useful tool that allows us to dilute liquid standards across a range of temperatures.

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