ASTM D6889 - 03(2011)

    Standard Practice for Fast Screening for Volatile Organic Compounds in Water Using Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME)

    Active Standard ASTM D6889 | Developed by Subcommittee: D19.06

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.02


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    Significance and Use

    This practice provides a general procedure for the solid-phase microextraction (SPME) of volatile organic compounds from the headspace of an aqueous matrix. Absorbent extraction is used as the initial step in the extraction of organic constituents for the purpose of screening and subsequently estimating the concentration of the volatile organic components found in water samples. This information may then be used to determine whether a sample may be analyzed directly by purge and trap or headspace or will require dilution prior to analysis.

    Typical detection limits that can be achieved using SPME techniques with gas chromatography (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FlD) range from milligrams per litre (mg/L) to micrograms per litre (μg/L). The detection limit, linear concentration range, and sensitivity of this test method for a specific organic compound will depend upon the aqueous matrix, the fiber phase, the sample temperature, sample volume, sample mixing, and the determinative technique employed.

    Solid phase microextraction has the advantage of speed, reproducibility, simplicity, no solvent, small sample size, and automation.

    Extraction devices vary from a manual SPME fiber holder to automated commercial devices specifically designed for SPME.

    A partial list of volatile organic compounds that can be screened by this practice is shown in Table 1.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers a procedure for the screening of trace levels of volatile organic compounds in water samples by headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) in combination with fast gas chromatography with flame ionization detection.

    1.2 The results from this screening procedure are used to estimate analyte concentrations to prevent contamination of purge and trap or headspace analytical systems.

    1.3 The compounds of interest must have a greater affinity for the SPME absorbent polymer or adsorbent than the sample matrix or headspace phase in which they reside.

    1.4 Not all of the analytes which can be determined by SPME are addressed in this practice. The applicability of the absorbent polymer, adsorbent or combination to extract the compound(s) of interest must be demonstrated before use.

    1.5 Where used it is the responsibility of the user to validate the application of SPME to the analytes of interest.

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific hazard statements, see Section 9.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D3694 Practices for Preparation of Sample Containers and for Preservation of Organic Constituents

    D3856 Guide for Management Systems in Laboratories Engaged in Analysis of Water

    D4210 Practice for Intralaboratory Quality Control Procedures and a Discussion on Reporting Low-Level Data

    D6520 Practice for the Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) of Water and its Headspace for the Analysis of Volatile and Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.50 (Examination of water for chemical substances)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D6889-03R11

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