Algae and bacteria are the primary source of taste and odor problem in drinking water. Other sources such as wastewater and chemicals spills can be also source of compounds that cause unpleasant tastes and odors. Some species of algae and bacteria produce these specific substances inside their cells. In the 1960 and 1970, it was discovered that geosmin and 2-MIB are produced by cyanobacteria as intracellular by-product such chemicals can effect both groundwater and surface water.

Geosmin (trans-1,10-dimethyl-trans-9-decalol) and 2-MIB (2-methylisoborneol) are two of the most common compounds liable of the unsightly taste-odor in environmental matrices.

This work shows a simple, fast and sensitive analytical method for the determination of earthy and musty odor organic compounds in environmental matrices.

The environmental sample is directly placed in a standard 20 ml glass vial, heated and purged with a flow of an inert gas for a defined time. The inert gas sweeps the sample and transfer the compounds in a cold trap where they are concentrated. Finally the trap is heated up and desorbed in backflush by the carrier gas. The MasterDynamic Headspace/ Purge&Trap Sampler coupled with the MasterAS automatically performed all the operations.

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