, Volume 34, Issue 5–8, pp 235–240 | Cite as

Determination of partition coefficients by automatic equilibrium headspace gas chromatography by vapor phase calibration

  • B. Kolb
  • C. Welter
  • C. Bichler


Equilibrium headspace gas chromatography has been applied to the determination of the partition coefficients of volatile compounds in water-air systems. Only techniques that are suited to a fully automatic headspace procedure using the pneumatic headspace sampling-technique have been considered. Particularly simple is the technique of “vapor phase calibration —VPC” where an external vapor standard is used to calibrate the concentration of the volatile analyte in the headspace, while the concentration in the sample is found from the difference in the total amount in the vial. This technique is described in detail for 2-butanone in water. Finally, the water-air partition coefficients of several selected volatile compounds at different temperatures are listed together with their temperature functions.

Key Words

Gas chromatography Headspace sampling Partition coefficients Multiple headspace extraction 

List of Symbols and Abbreviations


Peak area of analyte from external vapor standard


Peak area of analyte from headspace sample


slope of regression of analyte from external vapor standard


slope of regression of analyte from sample vial


Concentration of analyte in sample


Concentration of analyte in gas phase of sample vial


Vapor concentration of analyte in external vapor standard


Partition coefficient


Total amount of analyte in vial


Amount of analyte in gas phase


Amount of analyte in sample


Atmospheric pressure


Headspace pressure in pressurized vial (Ph=Pa+PGC) with PGC as excess pressure given by pressure of GC


Volume of gas phase (headspace) in vial


Volume of sample in vial


Volume of headspace vial


Phase ratio (β=VG/VS)


Calibration factor


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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Kolb
    • 1
  • C. Welter
    • 1
  • C. Bichler
    • 1
  1. 1.Bodenseewerk Perkin-Elmer GmbHÜberlingenGermany

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