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Rapid Vapor-Collection Method for Vapor Pressure Measurements of Low-Volatility Compounds

NCJ Number
Analytical Chemistry Volume: 92 Issue: 24 Dated: 2020 Pages: 16253-16259
Megan E. Harries; Cheryle N. Beuning; Bridger L. Johnston; Tara M. Lovestead; Jason A. Widegren
Date Published
November 2020
7 pages

The rapid vapor-collection method for vapor pressure measurement of low-volatility compounds is described and validated.


Dynamic vapor microextraction (DVME) is a new method that enables rapid vapor pressure measurements on large molecules with state-of-the-art measurement uncertainty for vapor pressures near 1 Pa. Four key features of DVME that allow for the rapid collection of vapor samples under thermodynamic conditions are (1) the use of a miniature vapor-equilibration vessel (the “saturator”) to minimize the temperature gradients and internal volume, (2) the use of a capillary vapor trap to minimize the internal volume, (3) the use of helium carrier gas to minimize nonideal mixture behavior, and (4) the direct measurement of pressure inside the saturator to accurately account for overpressure caused by viscous flow. The performance of DVME was validated with vapor pressure measurements of n-eicosane (C20H42) at temperatures from 344 to 374 K. A thorough uncertainty analysis indicated a relative standard uncertainty of 2.03–2.82% for measurements in this temperature range. The measurements were compared to a reference correlation for the vapor pressures of n-alkanes; the deviation of the measurements from the correlation was ≤2.85%. The enthalpy of vaporization of n-eicosane at 359.0 K was calculated to be ΔvapH = 91.27 ± 0.28 kJ/mol compared to ΔvapH(corr) = 91.44 kJ/mol for the reference correlation. Total measurement periods as short as 15 min (3 min of thermal equilibration plus 12 min of carrier gas flow) were shown to be sufficient for high-quality vapor pressure measurements at 364 K. (Publisher Abstract)