Fast, Low Solvent, DCM-Free, Sample Cleanup for Persistent Organic Pollutants Analysis


The Application Notebook

The Application NotebookThe Application Notebook-09-02-2017
Volume 35
Issue 9

The continued interest in persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), furans (PCDFs), biphenyls (PCBs), and PBDEs, has led to a variety of automated systems for the cleanup of complex sample matrices. This has resulted in development of our fully automated "Power Prep" sample cleanup instead of manual preparative open column chromatography.

To meet demands for a lower cost method that requires little financial investment, we combined the features of the "PowerPrep" system-accurate, fast, reliable, with short turnaround times, and low background using FMS pre-packaged columns-with a relatively simple semi-automated approach. An important feature of the semi-automated technique is that a minimum amount of solvent is used and no dichloromethane is used. This is important since many laboratories around the world are phasing out this solvent. This manual method is ideal for those laboratories that want high quality sample processing without much financial investment.


  • The FMS EZPrep123™ System

  • Vacuum pump

  • Thermo Trace GC Ultra with Thermo Quantum XLS Triple Quad GC/MS


  • The FMS EZPrep123 System operates under vacuum for fast elution

  • Samples are loaded onto columns in hexane and the silica column is eluted with hexane

  • Carbon and alumina columns are eluted with toluene for collection

  • Two fractions are collected: Fraction 1 with PCDD/Fs and coplanary- PCBs and Fraction 2 with mono- and di-ortho PCBs

  • Total run time is less than 45 min

  • Low solvent volume of collected Fractions reduces time required for sample concentration

Additional Features

  • No re-use of tubing, syringes, parts, and glassware

  • No electronics and mechanical parts to fail

  • No service contract or maintenance to worry about

  • Fast, 45 min run time

  • No repetitive motions and minimal cleaning of reusable parts


Excellent recoveries are seen with the new semi-automated method using the FMS EZPrep123 System, as can be seen in Tables I and II. Because the system is mostly composed of disposable parts, the risk of cross-contamination is very low. Note that no dichloromethane is used. The system can be set up at no cost and is a cheaper alternative to the fully automated cleanup equipment, and processing times are much shorter than other manual procedures. The certified columns and simple, versatile system guarantee same morning or afternoon POPs analysis.

FMS, Inc.
580 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472
tel. (617) 393-2396, fax: (617) 393-0194