Development and evaluation of a suite of passive sampling devices for routine aquatic monitoring

Stephens, Benjamin Scott (2012). Development and evaluation of a suite of passive sampling devices for routine aquatic monitoring PhD Thesis, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland.

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Author Stephens, Benjamin Scott
Thesis Title Development and evaluation of a suite of passive sampling devices for routine aquatic monitoring
Formatted title
Development and Evaluation of a Suite of Passive Sampling Devices for Routine Aquatic Monitoring
School, Centre or Institute School of Medicine
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Jochen Mueller
Beate Escher
Total pages 134
Total colour pages 14
Total black and white pages 120
Language eng
Subjects 0502 Environmental Science and Management
0301 Analytical Chemistry
Formatted abstract
A suite of aquatic passive sampling devices sensitive to a broad spectrum of hydrophilic and hydrophobic organic and inorganic pollutants is presented as a cost effective enabling complement to traditional “grab” and mechanised routine aquatic sampling methods. Variants of Chemcatcher® and other particle loaded membrane (Empore® disk) based devices employing both polyethersulfone membrane-covered and naked sorbents, Polar Organic Compound Integrative Samplers (POCIS®), Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking (SPATT) devices and varied thicknesses of custom polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) strips in standardised Semipermeable Membrane Device (SPMD®) housings are assessed as routine monitoring tools for trace hydrophilic pollutants in Queensland surface waters. Hydrophobic pollutant selective polyethylene (PE) strips, standard SPMDs and Differential Gradient in Thin Films (DGTs®) for dissolved metals were also manufactured, deployed and assessed as part of a passive sampling toolkit, however the majority of data generated concerns the more recently developed devices for hydrophilic organics and the focus of this work is on high use hydrophilic herbicides and their breakdown products. Time series device exposures are undertaken simultaneously in conjunction with intensive grab and high frequency mechanical sampling programs. Large scale field deployments demonstrate feasibility of capturing high quality, cost effective broad spectrum aquatic pollutant concentrations across seasonal conditions, including “wet” flooding events and drought condition “dry” periods across remote inland, coastal, agricultural and urban catchments in  Queensland. In situ determination of sampler kinetics with performance reference compounds (PRCs) was not demonstrated with these hydrophilic devices. Observed sampler kinetic uptake data for Chemcatcher, POCIS and PDMS devices were in general agreement with limited published data, where available. First order kinetic and equilibrium  parameters are reported for several device-pollutant combinations for the first time in the literature. Semiempirical and empirical correlations are explored for equilibrium and kinetic passive sampling modes and a numerical method for model solution is presented within an object oriented Matlab® 2010a Toolbox. The comparative database and the Matlab 2010a Toolbox should be of interest to workers considering incorporating passive sampling into routine monitoring programs, maintaining passive sampler calibration data and developing, exploring and parameterising single and multi-compartment passive sampler models. The in situ comparative kinetic performance database for the suite of aquatic passive sampling  devices illustrates important tradeoffs associated with varied performance characteristics including integrative sampling capacity, pollutant selectivity, detection limits and surface fouling characteristics. Selection factors for constructing a routine passive sampler based aquatic monitoring tool kit catering for a diversity of sampling goals, environmental concentrations and exposure conditions are discussed. Recommendations for device design, model application, model development, passive sampling error analysis and emerging regulatory reporting standards are suggested.
Keyword Passive sampling
Routine water quality monitoring
Event capturing
Chemcatcher (R)
Empore (R)

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Created: Wed, 05 Jun 2013, 09:59:41 EST by Mr Benjamin Stephens on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service