Geosmin and 2-MIB are tertiary alcohols produced mainly by cyanobacteria and actinomycetes found in surface water sources.
cyanobacteria pose a potential risk to aquatic ecosystems when present in large quantities as their decomposition causes excessive oxygen consumption, which leads to an increased mortality rate in local populations due to low oxygen levels (hypoxia). - FDA
Since they were first identified in the early 1960s, these two earthy-muddy-smelling metabolites have been the focus of considerable research. Geosmin and 2-MIB remain poorly understood throughout much of the water industry, and misconceptions which impede the prediction, treatment, and control of these volatile organic compounds (VOCs) persist.
UIS Organic laboratory performs this analysis on a Brucker 450GC-300MS Triple Quadrupole with solid phase micro extraction.