Ronald E. Majors | Authors


Practical Aspects of Solvent Extraction

Columnist Ron Majors discusses some of the practical considerations in the successful application of the popular yet age-old technique of solvent extraction (also known as liquid–liquid extraction, or LLE). After a brief review of the basics, guidelines on the selection of the appropriate extraction solvents and how to use acid–base equilibria to ensure efficient extractions of ionic and ionizable compounds are provided. Problems in LLE and the solutions to these problems are highlighted. A newer technique called dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction (DLLME) is introduced.

Column Pressure Considerations in Analytical HPLC

In this instalment of "Column Watch", columnist Ron Majors examines the role of pressure in high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) from two viewpoints: the impact of the ultrahigh pressures encountered in ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) on chromatographic parameters and increases in column pressure encountered in normal daily use. The latter is of more practical consequence to HPLC users because increased back pressure usually implies that something has gone wrong with the column. Pressure increases as a result of physical and chemical contamination are explored and practical approaches to solve these problems are suggested.

QuEChERS — A New Technique for Multiresidue Analysis of Pesticides in Foods and Agricultural Samples

This month's instalment of "Sample Prep Perspectives" describes a new extraction technique called QuEChERS (standing for quick, easy, cheap, effective and safe and is pronounced "catchers") for the sample preparation of pesticides in foods and agricultural samples. The technique uses simple glassware, a minimal amount of organic solvent and various salt/buffer additives to partition analytes into an organic phase for clean up by dispersive solid-phase extraction (d-SPE). The technique provides good recoveries, is reproducible and costs less than other sample preparation approaches. The technique is being adopted by many laboratories worldwide. It has the potential for applications outside of the pesticide in foods area.

Advanced Topics in Solid-Phase Extraction: Chemistries

Although the majority of solid-phase extraction (SPE) is performed with conventional bonded silica- and polymeric-phases, difficult and complex samples may require more specialized stationary phases. In this instalment of "Sample Preparation Perspectives", columnist Ron Majors discusses advanced topics such as multimodal SPE, restricted-access media, molecular imprinted polymers, immunoaffinity extraction phases and other class-or compound-specific sorbents. These phases provide additional selectivity and procedures using them can be automated. Representative applications will be presented.

Modern Techniques for the Extraction of Solid Materials — An Update

Traditional methods for the sample preparation of insoluble solid materials have represented one of the more time consuming and labour-intensive efforts in analysis. In this instalment of "Sample Prep Perspectives", Ron Majors examines modern sample preparation methods for solids that often involve increased temperature and higher pressure to speed up the extraction process. In addition, modern sample preparation methods have been automated to relieve analysts of the drudgery associated with traditional methods. Here, he reports on automated Soxhlet extraction, supercritical fluid extraction, pressurized fluid extraction–accelerated solvent extraction, and microwave-assisted extraction and updates earlier coverage.

Top 10 HPLC Column Myths

In any field there are often "misconceptions" or "myths" that are perpetuated and passed on to the next generation. These myths are often driven by a lack of understanding by practitioners of the real issues. In this instalment of "Column Watch", the 10 most popular myths around high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) column technology will be demystified by discussing the issues at hand. Among some of the popular myths that will be dispelled are that "All C18 (L1) columns are the same", "You can't reverse an HPLC column", "High temperature always leads to better separations" and "The higher the carbon load the better the reversed-phase column".