Cloud Point Extraction with Surfactant Derivatization as an Enrichment Step Prior to Gas Chromatographic or Gas Chromatography−Mass Spectrometric Analysis

2009-08-15T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Yoshitaka Takagai Willie L. Hinze
Cloud point extraction (CPE) using Triton X-114 was successfully applied as an extractive preconcentration step prior to gas chromatographic−mass spectrometric analysis. No liquid chromatographic or back-extraction steps were required to remove the target analyte(s) from the surfactant-rich extractant phase. Instead a post-extraction derivatization step is employed in which the surfactant of the surfactant-rich phase is reacted with N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA) prior to injection into the gas chromatograph. Such derivatization of the Triton X-114 surfactant following CPE was found to provide improved chromatographic performance yielding a reasonable elution time window that is free of derivatized surfactant signals, reproducible analyte retention times, and quantitative results. Mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), herbicides, and profens were utilized to demonstrate the feasibility and performance of this approach. The retention times of six PAHs (acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, anthracene, biphenyl, dibenzofuran, and fluorene) were found to be very reproducible with relative standard deviations (RSDs) in the range of 0.5−0.8%. Quantitative gas chromatography−mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis of a herbicide test mixture (composed of alachlor, atrazine, butachlor, hexachlorocyclopentadiene, metolachlor, and simazine) following their CPE from spiked water samples yielded detection limits in the range of 6.6−97 ng/L (except for that of hexachlorocyclopentadiene which was 482 ng/L). The enrichment factors achieved for these herbicides ranged from 17 to 33. The recovery of the herbicides from spiked water samples ranged from 90 to 100% except for simazine and atrazine which were 50% and 74%, respectively. The BSFTA derivatization step can serve not only to derivatize the surfactant but also appropriate nonvolatile (or less volatile) analytes. An ibuprofen and flurbiprofen test mix was utilized to demonstrate this feature. The proposed protocol offers an attractive alternative means by which surfactant-mediated extractions can be utilized as an enrichment step prior to gas chromatographic or gas chromatographic−mass spectrometric analysis of analytes which should serve to expand the scope of CPE in gas chromatographic (GC) analysis.