Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Modeling Solid-Phase Microextraction of Volatile Organic Compounds by Porous Coatings Using Finite Element Analysis

Version 1 : Received: 30 January 2019 / Approved: 31 January 2019 / Online: 31 January 2019 (07:08:17 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 22 April 2019 / Approved: 23 April 2019 / Online: 23 April 2019 (06:24:45 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Experimental optimization of analytical methods based on solid-phase microextraction (SPME) is a complex and labor-intensive process associated with uncertainties. Using theoretical basics of SPME and finite element analysis software for the optimization proved to be an efficient alternative. In this study, an improved finite element analysis-based model for SPME of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by porous coatings was developed mainly focussing on the mass transport in coatings. Benzene and the Carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane (Car/PDMS) coating were used as the model VOC and a porous SPME coating, respectively. It has been established that in the coating, volumetric fractions of Carboxen, PDMS, and air are 33, 42 and 25%, respectively. It has been proven that Knudsen diffusion in micropores can slow down a mass transport of analytes in the coating. For Car/PDMS coating, mass transport of benzene is mostly characterized by a molecular diffusion, which can be explained by a large fraction of macro- and mesopores. It has been shown that the developed model can be used to model the extraction of VOCs from air and water samples encountered in a typical SPME development method procedure. It was possible to determine system equilibration times and use them to optimize sample volume and Henry’s law constant. The developed model is relatively simple, fast, and can be recommended for optimization of extraction parameters for other analytes and SPME coatings. The diffusivity of analytes in a coating is an important property needed for improved characterization of existing and new SPME polymers and analytical method optimization.


SPME; Carboxen; volatile organic compounds; benzene; transport in porous media; COMSOL Multiphysics


Chemistry and Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry

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