Northumbrian Water Scientific Services have been awarded UKAS accreditation for the analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in wastewater by single quadrupole mass spectrometer previously the samples were analysed by a Purge and Trap GCMS method. 

The scientific services technical team have worked on developing a method where an aliquot of the water sample is heated to 75ºC and shaken in a sealed vial. A known volume of the gas headspace within the vial is then injected on to a capillary GC column. Volatile components which are present in the sample are separated by temperature programming and detected with the use of a single quadrupole mass spectrometer.


The advantage of this method is that the sample is analysed without any carry over as there is no residual sample, therefore resulting in a more robust result.


Accreditation has been awarded for 57 different VOC’s using our in-house flexible scope of accreditation. The scientific team are now working on the method to introduce more of the less common compounds. 


This new method has meant that the 21,000 VOC tests that we do each year can be analysed using this method, allowing us to deliver a high quality and consistent service that we are proud to provide to our customers.


If you would like any information regarding this or any other of the analytical or sampling services that our laboratory can provide then contact our dedicated Customer Team and we’ll be happy to help.