An analytical method for the field investigation of environmental amines released by industrial processes

Chih Chia Wang, Lung Yu Sung*, Pei Ling Wu, Sin Yu Ke, Shu Xin Ng, Rih Sheng Jian, Ei Wen Lo, Chia Jung Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the establishment and field-test results of a method for analyzing low levels of amine mixtures in the ambient air near industrial processes. Seven amines that are commonly used in industrial processes were selected as target contaminants. Two-stage Teflon impingers that were filled with deionized water were used as the samplers. The recoveries of all amines were between 93.2% (trimethyl amine) and 103.4% (propyl amine). The collected samples were then analyzed via ion-chromatograph with a conductivity detector. We separated the seven amines by operating the column at two different temperatures (35.0 and 17.5°C). The detection limits of this method ranged from 0.11 to 0.48 ppb, which is sufficient for environmental odor control. The accuracy, sample preservation time and interference of other chemicals when using this method were also studied. The field tests of this method in the environment outside an electronic chemical plant detected three target amines at low ppb levels. A level of trimethyl amine of more than 100 ppb was quantified inside another PCB production plant using the same method. This solvent-free sampling and cost-effective method can sufficiently analyze low concentrations of amines in the environment, which makes it suitable for large-scale investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1


  • Ambient air
  • Impinger sampler
  • Ion chromatography
  • Odorous compounds
  • Organic amines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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