Detection of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) by ion-mobility spectrometry

Tiebe, Carlo; Miessner, Hans; Koch, Bernhard; Hübert, Thomas
December 2009
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Dec2009, Vol. 395 Issue 7, p2313
Academic Journal
Traces of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) in air can indicate the presence of growth of moulds in the indoor environment. Ion-mobility spectrometry is a very promising method for detection of these MVOCs, because of its high sensitivity. For development of an in-situ method for detection of MVOCs, a portable ion-mobility spectrometer (IMS) was used and test gases of 14 MVOCs and their respective mixtures were investigated. IMS spectra were recorded as a function of concentration of MVOCs in air. Drift time and mobility of reactant ions formed in positive polarity mode were determined and correlated with the mass-to-charge ratio ( m/ z) of the MVOCs investigated. The estimated detection limit has a specific value for each MVOC and is in the range 3 to 96 μg m−3 (1 to 52 ppbV). Indoor trials show that IMS can indicate hidden mould growth.


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