Brent Pautler, Ph.D. (Ontario) will present “Waterloo Membrane Sampler: Passive Sampling in Remediation Projects; Soil Gas, Outdoor Air and Implications for Vapor Intrusion Studies” at SMART Remediation at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada, on February 6, 2020.

Brent ‘s co-authors are Hester Groenevelt and Todd McAlary, Ph.D., Geosyntec; Matthew Edwards, Ph.D., SepSolv Analytical; and Robert Healy, Ph.D., Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Brent is the Customer Service Coordinator at SiREM and an environmental analytical chemist with advanced technical experience in passive sampling, spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, and chemistry informatics. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to working with scientists, engineers, and consultants, applying his chemistry and information technology expertise to help them solve unique problems both in the laboratory and the field. He is the lead contact at SiREM for passive sampling products and services for sediment pore and surface waters (SP3™, SPeepers™), air (Waterloo Membrane Sampler; WMS)™  and the KB-1® bioaugmentation cultures.

Smart Methods in Advanced Remediation Technologies (SMART) is a series of technical learning seminars for environmental professionals. The seminars are designed to provide information and an opportunity to learn about advanced technologies and approaches for effective delineation and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater; facilitate discussion between professionals regarding these technologies and approaches; and provide networking opportunities with other professionals in the industry. The end goal is to bring the North American environmental community together to enhance their collective understanding of cutting edge characterization and remediation technologies. SMART is organized by Vertex Environmental.


Passive sampling has been growing in popularity for the measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with applications ranging from indoor/outdoor air quality and soil vapor intrusion assessments. The Waterloo Membrane SamplerTM (WMSTM), a passive permeation sampler which incorporates a polydimethylsiloxane membrane across the face of a vial filled with sorbent medium, provides additional advantages such as a high resistance to water vapor and predictable uptake rates for virtually any VOC. It has found use in collecting soil gas, indoor and outdoor air to monitor remediation projects focused on time-weighted average VOC concentration and compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA). This presentation will provide technical information on the WMSTM sampler and provide data on recent sampler developments including:

  • Use of WMSTM in soil gas sampling programs in which the design of the sampler was modified to incorporate a thicker membrane, reducing the potential for “starvation,” a common issue when collecting soil gas samples with passive samplers
  • WMSTM design modification to incorporate either a thermally-desorbable sorbent or thin film SPME sorbent for ease of detection/quantitation by TD-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) and direct comparison with TD tubes and real-time monitoring in outdoor air.

With these modifications, increased sensitivity and correlation to real-time monitoring data, the WMSTM shows potential to be applied to all indoor and outdoor air VOC sampling, including perimeter monitoring of remediation projects such as excavations and long-term monitoring for vapor intrusion work.

More Information

About the event: 2020 SMART Ottawa
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