Solid Phase Extraction: A Century of Chemical Development Combined with Recent Technological Advancements to Tackle Increasing Application Challenges

Challenges and Opportunities for Solid Phase Extraction
Oral Presentation

Prepared by , S. Panos, A. Taylor

Contact Information:; 603-386-3654


Solid phase extraction (SPE) can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century when Mikhail Tsvet published his use of adsorption chromatography to separate pigments in plant material. During the century that followed, chromatographic methods evolved to include the modern day gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography.

At the heart of these techniques is the use of stationary sorbent materials with physical and chemical properties that are tailored to extract specific compounds. The advances made during the next few decades paved the way for the use of solid phase extraction for sample preparation and pre-concentration. As advances in sorbent materials and extraction approaches evolve, so too do the challenges in the number, solubility and stability of the analytes which must be separated.

In addition to tackling ever-challenging applications, environmental laboratories must also maintain profits while operating in a high throughput environment. To minimize operating- and downtime-related costs, laboratory equipment must be rugged and versatile to meet the needs of a wide range of applications. The evolution of both application- and laboratory-related challenges has spurred the development of a variety of SPE-based sample preparation solutions. Current offerings range from manual to automated extraction, using media packed into multiple different formats, in disposable or reusable holders. The variety of options allows for a solid phase extraction solution to be customized to meet the needs of the application. This modern approach to sample preparation will be presented.