Enhanced Reproducibility for the Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Water Samples
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are potential carcinogenic chemical byproducts composed of fused carbon rings and are commonly formed during the production of common-place products, most notably asphalt. The PAHs present in asphalt could potentially be introduced into the Concho River from rain runoff. Previous work at Angelo State University done by David Goggin developed a method for measuring PAHs in the Concho River with limited reproducibility. The experimental design was modified to enhanced reproducibility by decreasing the sample volume and using parafilm to prevent loss of PAHs by volatilization. Further improvements will be attempted by using headspace SPME to improve analysis of PAHs with low molecular weights, screw caps with septa instead of parafilm, and replacing the Teflon stir-bar with a glass stir-bar.