In this paper, a time-based multi-syringe flow injection (MSFI) approach is proposed for automated disk-based sorbent extraction of three nitro-substituted phenol isomers (2-, 3-, and 4-nitrophenol) followed by on-line simultaneous determination of individual species by diode-array spectrophotometry. The method involves the on-line enrichment of the targeted analytes from an acidic medium containing 0.1 mol L-1HCl onto a co-polymeric sorbent material, and the concurrent removal of potentially interfering matrix components. The nitrophenol isomers are subsequently eluted with an alkaline solution (0.7 mol L-1NaOH), whereupon the eluate is delivered to a diode-array spectrophotometer for recording of the spectral data in the UV-vis region. Deconvolution of strongly overlapped spectra was conducted with multivariate regression models based on multiple linear regression calibration. The analytical performance of the chemometric algorithm was characterized by relative prediction errors and recoveries. The MSFI manifold was coupled to a multiposition selection valve to set a rugged analyzer that ensures minimum operational maintenance via exploitation of membrane switching protocols. As compared with earlier methods for isolation/pre-concentration of nitro-substituted phenols based on liquid-liquid extraction, the proposed flow-through disk-based system should be regarded as an environmentally friendly approach because the use of harmful organic solvents is circumvented. Under the optimized chemical and physical variables, the 3σblankdetection limits for 2-, 3-, and 4-nitrophenol were 1.2, 3.2 and 0.3 μmol L-1for a sample loading volume of 1.5 mL, and the relative standard deviations were ≤5.0%. The flowing system, which is able to handle up to 135 samples automatically, was proven suitable for monitoring trace levels of the target isomers in mineral, tap, and seawater. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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