GC/MS/MS Analysis of PAHs Using Hydrogen Carrier Gas with the Agilent HydroInert Source in a Challenging Soil Matrix

by | Aug 2, 2023

Video application and complementary application notes focused on GC/MS/MS analysis of PAHs.

Separation Science, in collaboration with Agilent, offers a video application and complementary application notes focused on GC/MS/MS analysis of PAHs.


Whilst helium is the gold standard that generally offers the best performance for GC/MS analysis, with proper configuration and conditions, comparable results can be achieved with hydrogen. PAH analysis is a great application to consider for hydrogen as the performance not only equals helium, but for some compounds can even exceed helium results due to chromatographic improvements seen with hydrogen. For laboratories looking to shift their PAH analysis to the more sustainable hydrogen carrier gas, the HydroInert source with a 9 mm extractor lens enables the transition with equivalent or better performance for GC/MS and GC/MS/MS analysis.

This presentation describes GC/MS/MS analysis of PAHs using hydrogen carrier gas with the Agilent HydroInert source in a challenging soil matrix. The Agilent 8890/7000E triple quad and 8890/5977C single quad GC/MS systems with a Hydroinert source, optimized for hydrogen carrier gas, were used for the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The optimized method using the HydroInert source provides excellent peak shape, especially for the late-eluting PAHs. Calibration linearity of R2 ≥ 0.999 was observed for all 27 analytes over <1 – 1,000 pg. Method detection limits were 0.1 pg on average. Internal standard (ISTD) response was stable across 4 orders of calibration with RSDs below 7%. Stable performance over 500 injections of a challenging soil extract demonstrated quantitation stability with RSDs <12% for all analytes with routine maintenance.

From this presentation and associated application notes, you will learn about:

  • the novel HydroInert source
  • considerations when switching to hydrogen carrier gas
  • a novel application for the analysis of PAHs using hydrogen carrier


Samuel Haddad, PhD
Application Development Chemist, Agilent Technologies 
Samuel Haddad is a GC Application Development Chemist at Agilent Technologies in Little Falls, Delaware. Samuel specializes in GC and GCMS applications of trace analysis in environmental and heavy matrix samples. His specialty includes sample preparation techniques to separate analytes from matrix components and extraction from a wide variety of matrices including water, fish, aquatic life, soil, and complex fluids. Samuel holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Baylor University and a B.S. in Biology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


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