Sorptive Extraction Techniques for Trace Analysis of Organic Pollutants in the Aquatic Environment

Wolfgang Buchberger*, Pola Zaborsky

Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Johannes-Kepler-University Linz, Altenbergerstrasse 69, A-4040 Linz, Austria.
Tel.: +43 732 24688724,
Fax: +43 732 24688679,

Paper based on a presentation at the 12th International Symposium on Separation Sciences, Lipica, Slovenia, September 2729, 2006. 

Environmental water analysis requires the determination of organic contaminants down to the low ng L1 range which makes efficient sample preconcentration and sample clean-up mandatory prior to high-performance separation techniques combined with selective detection. Solid-phase extraction has become one of the most important sample pre-treatment procedures in environmental analytical chemistry, based on either single equilibration or multiple equilibration ofanalytes between the aqueous sample and the sorbent. Procedures based on a single partitioning step between sample and sorbent phase (such as solid-phase microextraction, stir bar sorptive extraction and related variants) are generally called sorptive extraction techniques. The increasing popularity of these techniques is due to reduced time-consumption and increased cost-effectiveness. In this review paper, the current state of sorptive extraction with respect to organic trace analysis in water samples is discussed regarding both the theoretical aspects as well as the applications for organic xenobiotics in the aquatic environment. The ongoing acceptance of sorptive extraction techniques into official methods clearly indicates that they offer satisfactory reliability and robustness for routine monitoring purposes.

Keywords: sample preparation, sorptive extraction, water analysis, organic trace analysis