Here, we discuss the advantages of solid-phase extraction (SPE) of semivolatile organic compounds from water over traditional liquid-liquid extraction techniques such as separatory funnel or continuous liquid-liquid extraction. Typically, liquid-liquid extraction can use up to 300 mL of organic solvent per sample and require extensive user intervention or monitoring. In comparison, the SPE technique only uses upto 60 mL of solvent per sample and because it is automated, it does not require extensive user intervention or monitoring.
Also, the SPE technique is an accepted alternative for U.S. EPA Method 525.2 listed in this EPA publication: Methods for the Determination of Organic Compounds in Drinking Water!
The SPE instrument (Thermo Scientific Dionex AutoTrace 280 system) traps the compounds of interest on SPE adsorbents and then uses liquid solvents for elution resulting in an extract that is ready for analysis.The system can also can process up to six samples with minimal operator involvement resulting in significant savings of time and money.
Check out Application Note 819, EPA Method 525.2: Extraction of Semivolatile Organic Compounds from Water Using AutoTrace 280 Solid-Phase Extraction Cartridges, (downloadable PDF) for details on how to use this instrument and technique and don’t forget to check out the table on page 3 listing over 75 semivolatile organic compounds that were extracted using the AutoTrace 280 system.
You might also be interested in a previous blog post that addresses another challenge in sample preparation: automating labor-intensive concentration and evaporation of samples!
Let us know if you have found this blog post useful for your work in the Comments box below. We look forward to hearing from you!