A non-planar, tortuous path chemical preconcentrator has a high internal surface area having a heatable sorptive coating that can be used to selectively collect and concentrate one or more chemical species of interest from a fluid stream that can be rapidly released as a concentrated plug into an analytical or microanalytical chain for separation and detection. The non-planar chemical preconcentrator comprises a sorptive support structure having a tortuous flow path. The tortuosity provides repeated twists, turns, and bends to the flow, thereby increasing the interfacial contact between sample fluid stream and the sorptive material. The tortuous path also provides more opportunities for desorption and readsorption of volatile species. Further, the thermal efficiency of the tortuous path chemical preconcentrator is comparable or superior to the prior non-planar chemical preconcentrator. Finally, the tortuosity can be varied in different directions to optimize flow rates during the adsorption and desorption phases of operation of the preconcentrator.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.