Plastic Pellets Sorptive Extraction: Low-cost, Rapid and Efficient Extraction of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Environmental Waters

For the first time, plastic pellets, a low-cost and easy to reach industrial raw material, are reported as an efficient sorbent material for the laboratory extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from environmental waters. The proposed methodology, termed plastic pellets sorptive extraction (P2SE), consisted of a two-step procedure whereby target analytes were initially adsorbed onto the surface of three low-density polyethylene (LDPE) pellets and then desorbed using microliters of an organic solvent. Interphase mass transfer was greatly accelerated by means of vortex agitation. Organic extracts were analyzed by means of liquid chromatography-fluorescence detection. Different experimental parameters were controlled and the optimum conditions found were: three LDPE pellets (∼80 mg) added to 20 mL aqueous sample (20 % w:v NaCl) followed by vortex agitation at 3000 rpm; for desorption, the three LDPE pellets were immersed in 100 μL of acetonitrile and the mixture was shaken at 3000 rpm for 5 min using the vortex agitator. The calculated calibration curves gave high levels of linearity yielding coefficients of determination (r2) greater than 0.9913. The precision of the proposed method was found to be good and the limits of the detection were calculated in the low ng L-1 level. Matrix effects were determined by applying the proposed method to spiked river water, treated municipal wastewater and seawater samples. To compensate for the low recoveries of the more hydrophobic PAHs in spiked effluent wastewater and seawater samples the standard addition methodology was applied. The proposed method was applied to the determination of target pollutants in real seawater samples using the standard addition method. Overall, the performance of the proposed P2SE method suggests that the use of inexpensive and easy to reach sorbent materials for extracting analytes in the laboratory merits more intensive investigation.

Chrysanthi-Elisabeth Nika, Evangelia Yiantzi, Elefteria Psillakis, Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 922, 30 May 2016, Pages 30–36
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