Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 388, Issue 5, pp 1275–1282

Determination of acetone in seawater using derivatization solid-phase microextraction

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00216-007-1324-x

Cite this article as:
Hudson, E.D., Okuda, K. & Ariya, P.A. Anal Bioanal Chem (2007) 388: 1275. doi:10.1007/s00216-007-1324-x


Acetone plays an important role in the chemistry of both the atmosphere and the ocean, due to its potential effect on the tropospheric HOx (= HO + HO2) budget, as well as its environmental and health effects. We discuss the development of a mobile, sensitive, selective, economical and facile method for the determination of acetone in seawater. The method consists of derivatizing acetone to its pentafluorobenzyl oxime using 1,2,3,4,5-pentafluorobenzylhydroxylamine (PFBHA), followed by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). A detection limit of 3.0 nM was achieved. The buffering capacity of seawater imposes challenges in using the method’s optimum pH (3.7) on seawater samples, requiring calibration standards to be made in buffered salt water and the acidification of seawater samples and standards prior to extraction. We employed the technique for analysis of selected surface seawater samples taken on the Nordic seas during the ARK-XX/1 cruise (R.V. Polarstern). An upper limit of 5.5–9.6 nM was observed for acetone in these waters, the first acetone measurements reported for far North Atlantic and Arctic waters.

Simplified schematic of transformations of organic compounds at the atmosphere–ocean interface


Ketones Volatile organic compounds Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry Dissolved organic carbon 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward D. Hudson
    • 1
  • Kadek Okuda
    • 1
  • Parisa A. Ariya
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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