CORESTA Congress, Berlin, 2016, Smoke Science/Product Technology Groups, ST 35

Development of a method for trace level analysis in the aerosol from a novel tobacco vaporiser

(1) Japan Tobacco Inc. Tobacco Science Research Center, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan; (2) GERSTEL K.K., Tokyo, Japan; (3) Research Institute for Chromatography, Kortrijk, Belgium

In some markets, a variety of tobacco vaporisers is commercially available. One of the characteristics of tobacco vaporisers is that the generated aerosol contains a lower number of combustion-derived chemicals due to the particular heating system which avoids burning of the tobacco. One novel tobacco vaporiser, available on the Japanese market quite recently, generates the aerosol by heating e-liquid mainly composed of propylene glycol and glycerol. The aerosol is then passing through a capsule filled with tobacco in order to deliver nicotine and tobacco aroma. To characterise the trace level compounds in aerosols from tobacco vaporisers, highly resolving and sensitive analytical methods are required.

In this presentation, a method for the separation and identification of the trace level compounds in tobacco vaporisers will be presented.

A thermal desorption (TD) system combined with one-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to a quadrupole mass spectrometer (GC-QMS) was initially used. The aerosol generated by the vaporiser was collected onto a TD tube and injected by desorption into the GC-QMS. However, in order to fully understand the characteristics of trace levels of compounds in the aerosol from the tobacco vaporiser, higher analytical resolution and sensitivity was required. In order to increase the sensitivity, the sample injection volume and the number of puff counts were increased whilst removing propylene glycol and glycerol from the aerosol by applying a Cambridge filter. Moreover, much better performance in terms of resolution and sensitivity was obtained by using two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to the time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-Q-TOF-MS).

More than 100 compounds were detected by TD-GCxGC-Q-TOF-MS in the aerosol from the tobacco vaporiser, which is five times higher than the results obtained by one-dimensional GC-QMS.