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Authors: Nazzari, M.* 
Sciarra, A.* 
Quattrocchi, F.* 
Title: A simple and sensitive gas chromatography–electron capture detection method for analyzing perfluorocarbon tracers in soil gas samples for storage of carbon dioxide
Issue Date: May-2013
Series/Report no.: /14 (2013)
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2012.12.029
Keywords: Perfluorocarbon tracers; Soil gas; Carbon dioxide storage; Leakage monitoring; GC–ECD
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.01. Geochemical exploration 
Abstract: Co-injection of a conservative tracer during the geological sequestration of CO2 can imprint a marker to the injected gas that can be easily recognized during soil gas surveys in case of CO2 leakage from the reservoir toward the surface. In this work, an ultra-trace detection method, based on gas chromatography with electron capture detection for analyzing perfluorocarbon tracers (PFTs) in soil gas samples was optimized. Three totally fluorinated cycloalcane compounds consisting of five and six atom carbon rings were selected for this purpose. We evaluated the feasibility of collecting PFTs on adsorbent tube packed with a commercial graphitized carbon black (Carbotrap™ 100) sampling 2 L of soil gas. The sorbent tubes were then analyzed by using a two-stage thermal desorption process. The developed method allows to quickly determine these compounds at very low fL/L level, method identification limits ranged from 1.3 to 5.8 fL/L. Moreover, it shows good precision, evaluated by within-day and between-day studies. A preliminary survey of the PFT soil gas background concentrations, conducted by analyzing some soil gas samples collected in two different areas in Central Italy and in the Po Plain, ascertained the PFT background concentration lower than MIL.
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