Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Automatic sampler for organic contaminants

gas automatic samplinggas chromatographyportable measurement devicesolid phase micro-extractionunmanned station


The automatic sampler conceived has been designed to automate the passive sampling technique SPME (Solid-Phase Micro Extraction), realising a device portable, easy to handle, electrically autonomous, remotely programmable or activated by sensors, capable of replacing humans in the operations of SPME fibre exposure to substances present in the surrounding area. Our auto-sampler can be used in the environmental, chemical and food sectors to monitor organic contaminants dispersed in gaseous and/or liquid fluids.

Technical features

The auto-sampler prototype realised is capable of housing up to 13 SPME fibre holders, through which it is possible to monitor the organic contaminants dispersed in the air – or more generally in a fluid – during a timespan. To limit the desorption of contaminants collected, after the exposure the needle containing the fibre is kept inside a small sealed chamber, thus preserving the samples from spontaneous deterioration before their chemical analysis at the laboratory (approximately after 24/48 hours). At the end of the sampling campaign, the auto-sampler can be coupled to the injector of a bench-top gas chromatograph (GC), thus avoiding the handling the samples (fibres) collected. The realised prototype was successfully tested in-situ, in an outdoor environment.

Possible Applications

  • Environmental monitoring of gases and fluids (e.g. polluted site, risky areas, emissions of industrial plants);
  • Industrial production line control (e.g. chemical plants, food industries, etc.);
  • Instruments for chemical analysis.


  • Automatic and programmable;
  • Safe and remotely operable;
  • Compact, lightweight, portable and installable in-situ;
  • Autonomously powered (current battery autonomy: 24-48 h);
  • Sample preservation (up to 24/48 h after the fibre exposure);
  • Coupled to benchtop gas chromatograph for the automatic injection of the sample/ fibre.