The Possibilities and Limitations of Capillary Extraction (CEx): The Case Study of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Clean-water Samples
Capillary extraction (CEx) is used to study the solventless in-tube extraction of naphthalene, acenaphthene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, chrysene, benzo(a)pyrene and coronene in aqueous samples prepared by analyte spiking into clean waters or, as an alternative, by using the generator–column method of sample preparation. Analysis of laden extractors is conveniently performed by high-resolution gas chromatography (GC), with a flameionization detector (FID). Extraction set-ups and main extraction variables are investigated from a practical point of view. For 2- to 4-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), equilibrium times are within a few minutes, analytical sensitivity is in the parts-per-billion (ppb) range and reproducibility is better than 10% relative standard deviation (RSD) (n = 6). Coronene behaviour is unique and presumably determined by extreme hydrophobicity and thus very negligible aqueous solubility: in-tube extraction of coronene seems possible only if starting from oversaturated..