Low-density solvent-based vortex-assisted surfactant-enhanced-emulsification liquid-liquid microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for the fast determination of phthalate esters in bottled water

  • Zhang Y
  • Lee H
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For the first time, a novel low-density solvent-based vortex-assisted surfactant-enhanced-emulsification liquid-liquid microextraction (LDS-VSLLME) was developed for the fast, simple and efficient determination of six phthalate esters (PEs) in bottled water samples followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In the extraction procedure, the aqueous sample solution was injected into a mixture of extraction solvent (toluene) and surfactant (cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide), which were placed in a glass tube with conical bottom, to form an emulsion by the assistance of vortex agitation. After extraction and phase separation by centrifugation, and removal of the spent sample, the toluene extract was collected and analyzed by GC-MS. The addition of surfactant enhanced the dispersion of extraction solvent in aqueous sample and was also favorable for the mass transfer of the analytes from the aqueous sample to the extraction solvent. Moreover, using a relatively less toxic surfactant as the emulsifier agent overcame the disadvantages of traditional organic dispersive solvents that are usually highly toxic and expensive and might conceivably decrease extraction efficiency to some extent since they are not as effective as surfactants themselves in generating an emulsion. With the aid of surfactant and vortex agitation to achieve good organic extraction solvent dispersion, extraction equilibrium was achieved within 1. min, indicating it was a fast sample preparation technique. Another prominent feature of the method was the simple procedure to collect a less dense than water solvent by a microsyringe. After extraction and phase separation, the aqueous sample was removed using a 5-mL syringe, thus leaving behind the extract, which was retrieved easily. This novel method simplifies the use of low-density solvents in DLLME. Under the optimized conditions, the proposed method provided good linearity in the range of 0.05-25μg/L, low limits of detection (8-25. ng/L) and good enrichment factors up to 290. The proposed method was successfully applied to the extraction of PEs in bottled water samples as a fast, efficient, and convenient method. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Low-density solvent
  • Phthalate esters
  • Vortex-assisted surfactant-enhanced emulsification liquid-liquid microextraction
  • Water samples

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