Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are organofluorine compounds constituted of carbon atoms combined to fluorine atoms. PFCs are often applied as tracer materials since they are considered to be inert, non toxic, thermostable and have long atmospheric lifetimes. The perfluorocarbon tracers (PFTs) have been widely used to map oil fields, study building ventilation and locate underground leaks. Furthermore, these compounds can persist for over a century in the atmosphere and their global warming potential is among the highest of all substances.
The great demand for precise PFT determination imposed the development of appropriate and accurate analytical techniques and methods that provide high sensitivity to detect this trace level compounds. Most applications are based on the use of gas chromatography (GC) equipped with electron capture detector (ECD). Moreover, a suitable PFTs pre-concentration method is required and the thermal desorption process is a valid technique. This application note presents the analysis of PFTs by means ofThermal Desorber (TD) hyphenated to a GC-ECD system. Minimum Detectable Levels (MDLs) are determined as well.

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