Solid Phase Extraction of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Water with Automated SPE Systems

Poster Presentation

Prepared by L. Kramer
Fluid Management Systems, 580 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA, 02472, United States

Contact Information:; 617-393-2396


Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) consist of fused aromatic rings found in petroleum and are produced as byproducts of fuel burning. As pollutants, they are of concern because some compounds have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic. PAHs are lipophilic and therefore found in the environment primarily in soil, sediment, and oily substances. However, they also appear in surface and ground water indicating a source of pollution. The volatile nature of PAH can make extraction and concentration of aqueous samples challenging, especially in the evaporation/concentration of extracts. An automated solid phase extraction (SPE) system, Fluid Management Systems TurboTrace and EconoTrace SPE are evaluated for performance. The FMS PAH SPE cartridge is compared to cartridges of various other manufacturers. The concentrator, FMS SuperVap, uses direct to vial evaporation tubes that eliminate errors of transfer. Preliminary data shows recoveries ranging from 71% (naphthalene) to 105% (benzo(g,h,i)perylene). The automation of sample preparation with the FMS TurboTrace SPE and FMS PAH SPE cartridge, the process of sample preparation is rapid, unattended, and even the lower molecular weight and more volatile PAH species exhibit high recovery. The presentation will cover the equipment details, methods, and results of testing the two systems.