Hollow fiber microextraction: a new hybrid microextraction technique for trace analysis
A new hybrid microextraction technique (hollow fiber microextraction) is presented that uses the main concepts and advantages of the modern miniaturized devices used for trace analysis. This novel analytical approach uses devices made of polypropylene membranes (10.0 mm long and 0.6 mm internal diameter) in which convenient organic solvents are embedded that promote fast kinetics during the enrichment process, using the floating sampling technology concept. An innovative analytical cycle is also proposed by use of low-cost disposable devices during the microextraction stage together with a user-friendly (“single liquid desorption step”) back-extraction stage in compliance with green analytical chemistry principles. To evaluate the performance of the proposed technique, 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were used as model compounds and were monitored by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Under optimized experimental conditions, assays performed on 25 mL aqueous samples spiked with the PAHs at trace level yielded average recoveries between (14.5 ± 8.2)% (dibenzo[a,h]anthracene) and (90.4 ± 8.4)% (benzo[a]anthracene) with use of a device in which n-nonane had been embedded. Low detection limits were also achieved (2.50–6.00 ng L-1), as well as good linear dynamic ranges (20.00–2000.00 ng L-1), with suitable coefficients of determination (r2 > 0.9905) and appropriate precision (relative standard deviation below 15%). By use of the standard addition method, the proposed hybrid microextraction technique had remarkable performance to monitor PAHs at the ultratrace level in several types of matrices, including surface water, wastewater, soil, tea, and fish liver samples. From the data obtained, the new hybrid hollow fiber microextraction technique proved to be user-friendly, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and very competitive for routine work. In short, the novel microextraction technique proposed herein is a remarkable alternative to other well-established microextraction techniques for ultratrace analysis of emerging compounds in real matrices.
KeywordsMicroextraction techniques Hollow fiber membranes Floating sampling technology Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry Real matrices
The authors thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Brazil) for a PhD grant (CAPES BEX 0394-14-9) and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) for funding (UID/MULTI/00612/2013). The authors also thank Prof. Leonel Gordo (Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa) for providing the fish liver samples.
Compliance with ethical standards
The fish samples analyzed were obtained from a fish market, and therefore approval from an ethics committee was not required.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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