Solutions Guide to Sample Prep – Extraction to Clean-up/Water Removal to Concentration to Final Volume

Oral Presentation

Prepared by J. Richardson
BUCHI Corporation, 19 Lukens Dr, New Castle, DE, 19720, United States

Contact Information:; 302-225-2453


Sample preparation is a critical process for successful recovery and analysis of environmental samples. Following EPA guidelines (Method 3545A, Pressurized Fluid Extraction) followed by clean-up and concentration, BUCHI now offers a solutions procedure. Automation can now be easily accomplished resulting in improved reproducibility and cost controls. Additionally, utilizing BUCHI’s Syncore solvent recovery system, organic solvents can be collected, stored or disposed of properly rather than being released to the atmosphere.

Various solvents and solvent blends are available for use with both the SpeedExtractor (E-916) and Syncore. This includes aggressive solvents commonly used such as DCM, hexane, acetone and toluene. The entire solvent pathway in the SpeedExtractor is chemically inert PTFE and stainless steel. As for the Syncore, the pathway is PTFE and glass.

The use of large volumes of organic solvents is reduced to 40 mL – 100 mL per extraction, and > 90% of solvent used can be recovered. This results in cost savings and minimal environmental impact. Samples can be cleaned-up by SPE (GPC, Silica gel …) and water can be removed by the use of an in-line hydrophobic membrane system. Samples are then concentrated and solvents exchanged, as is necessary for analysis of PCB’s and pesticides.

In addition, health and safety of the analyst are always of concern. Lower sample volumes and minimal handling are required from beginning to end of the process, thus limiting exposure.

In summary, analyte losses are minimized, reproducibility is gained, environmental impact is reduced and safety is improved.