The great diversity of pollutant compounds, and also a very low level of concentration at which they shows toxicity, brought to the development of a very sophisticated and complex instrumentation, and to the conception and standardization of analytical methods characterized by high sensitivity and precision.
Pollution became a subject of major concern at a global scale. We mean here:
In this project some non-conventional methods for accurate and ultrasensitive determination of some pollutant substances classes are being proposed, methods based on tandem coupling of chromatographic separators with specific, non-conventional detectors. The element of novelty of the proposed research relies in utilizing some originally designed and produced detectors and in the coupling manner of these detectors with chromatographic-type separators.
Using ion mobility spectrometry coupled with gas or liquid chromatography and with mass spectrometry to detect pollutant organic substances (VOCs, POPs), chemical warfare agents, drugs or explosives, established successfully proven applications in the last decade.
Due to the fact that separation processes based on differences of mobility are based on physical and chemical processes totally different than those involved in chromatography, it is obvious that using as detector a ion mobility cell (IMS cell) will add a new qualitative dimension of acquired data. Correlation between the ion mobility spectra (obtained with the IMS detector) and the retention time of gas chromatograph (GC) provides us with a high performance analytical method that can be used in trace detection of the chemical compounds and solves many problems concerning environmental monitoring and prevention of its contamination. The development of this hyphenated method requires a coordinated action of experts from different fields: physicians, chemists, electronic and mechanical engineers, mathematicians and programmers. The following detectors are to be used in these coupling procedures: a) high-resolution electrolytic detector - for halogenated derivatives, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, insecticides, and oil products, b) thermoconductive detector based on polymeric filaments, for small molecules (inorganic gaseous pollutants SO2, NO, NO2, H2S, CO, CO2), and c) detector based on ion mobility, especially for organic toxic substances (POPs: Aldrin, Dieldrin, Endrin, Chlordane, DDT, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex, Toxaphene, PCBs, Dioxins and Furans). It is taken into consideration the automation of the process of data acquisition and processing, and data remote transmission.