Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry

Advisor 1

Spencer M. Steinberg

First Committee Member

Vernon F. Hodge

Second Committee Member

Lawrence Tirri

Graduate Faculty Representative

Moses Karakouzian

Number of Pages



Soil sample preservation for volatile organic compound analysis generally requires short sample holding times or preservation of the sample's chemical constituents with sodium bisulfate (NaHSO 4 ). Calcareous soils cannot be preserved using NaHSO4 because effervescence will promote the loss of analytes, and short holding times before analysis are not practical for remote sampling locations. An experimental approach was developed for determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in soil that utilizes solid sorbents for sample preservation and solid-phase microextraction (SPME) sample preparation technique coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for analysis. Solid sorbents are used to sequester readily extractable (vapor phase) VOCs from soil samples during sample storage. Experimental results indicate that very long sample holding times can be achieved and reasonable recoveries obtained using Carboxen(TM) 569 carbon molecular sieves as a soil sample preservative for carbonate soils. The method facilitates rapid sample preparation and can be easily implemented during field sampling or in the laboratory.


Soil analysis; Soil contaminates; Soil sample preservation; solid-phase microextraction (SPME) sample preparation technique; Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)


Analytical Chemistry | Soil Science

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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