Volatile compounds are compounds that can exist in a gaseous state at room temperature. These compounds contribute to the aromas that are associated with mixtures. The analysis of these gases can be completed using a gas chromatograph to provide a sort of fingerprint identification. The analysis of the volatile compounds for barley fermentation samples was completed by collecting the gas above the fermenting solution, the headspace gas, and injecting this gas into the gas chromatograph. These fermentation samples showed predominantly the formation of carbon dioxide for a significant length of time before finally ethanol was detected. A subsequent of the limit of detection for ethanol was made. This analysis method was extended to a variety of household liquids that contained ethanol such as peppermint oil, almond extract, and vanilla extract as well as two alcoholic beverages, Festivus Beer and red wine. Notable volatile compounds of each sample, such as vanillin for vanilla extract, were not detected so various types of sample preparation were completed in hopes of gaining a higher concentration sample of these volatile compounds. Examples of some of these preparation steps include heating the sample, using SPE chromatography, and bubbling the headspace gas into different solvents.
Overway, Ken and Taylor, Cassie, "Analysis of the Headspace Gases Formed from the Fermentation of Barley" (2022). Chemistry Faculty Scholarship. 17.