Microchimica Acta

, 186:398 | Cite as

Polypyrrole nanotubes for electrochemically controlled extraction of atrazine, caffeine and progesterone

  • Adriana C. de Lazzari
  • Débora P. Soares
  • Naiara M. F. M. Sampaio
  • Bruno J. G. Silva
  • Marcio VidottiEmail author
Original Paper


Polypyrrole (PPy) was electrochemically synthesized with charge control on the surface of a steel mesh. Two different morphologies (globular and nanotubular) were created and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The modified electrodes were used as extraction phases in solid-phase extraction (SPE) and electrochemically controlled solid-phase extraction (EC-SPE) of atrazine, caffeine and progesterone. Raman spectroscopy was employed for the structural characterization of PPy after long exposure to the analytes. The electrochemical behavior was studied by cyclic voltammetry which revealed the higher capacitive behavior of polypyrrole nanotubes because of the huge superficial area, also no electrocatalytical behavior was observed evidencing the strong adsorption of the analytes on the PPy surface. The effects of the PPy oxidation state on the extraction performance were evaluated by in-situ electrochemical sorption experiments. The sorption capacity was evaluated by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The method displays good stability, repeatability and reproducibility. The limits of detection range between 1.7–16.7 μg L−1. Following the extraction of river water samples, it was possible to identify the presence of other endogenous organic compounds besides the analytes of interest. This indicates the potential of the method and material developed in this work.

Graphical abstract

Schematic representation of a steel mesh electrode covered with polypyrrole nanotubes used as extraction phase for separation of contaminants from aqueous samples. The oxidation level of polypyrrole was electrochemically tuned by which the adsorption of analytes is deeply affected.


Electrosynthesis Extraction phase Electrochemical control Contaminants of emerging concern GC-MS detection Adsorption on nanostructures 



The authors thank the Brazilian agencies Fundação Araucária, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES (Finance Code 001) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq (442541/2014-7) for financial support, Centro de Microscopia Eletrônica (CME-UFPR) and INCT in Bioanalytics (FAPESP grant no. 2014/50867-3 and CNPq grant no. 465389/2014-7).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3545_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2947 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de Pesquisa em Macromoléculas e Interfaces - Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Grupo de Cromatografia e Técnicas de Microextração - Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil

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