The environmental contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are often encountered in soil environments, usually originating from electrical transformers or capacitors leaks or improper disposal of PCB-containing wastes. These substances, although exhibiting notable fire-resistant and stability properties required for their use in electrical equipments, present several health hazards linked to their toxic nature.
The determination of PCBs in water and soil samples is usually carried out according to the U.S. EPA Method 8082. The proposed analytical protocol is based on conventional gas chromatography (GC) equipped with an electron capture detector (ECD), suggesting analysis run times of about 30 min.
However, Fast GC, typically carried out using 100 micron I.D. and 10 m length columns, represents a powerful alternative to conventional GC, allowing to achieve equivalent resolution in significantly shorter analysis run times. In the present work the determination of PCBs by means of Fast GC is investigated. Different narrow bore columns and analytical methods were applied to best evaluate the Fast GC approach.

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