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Influence of the extraction methodology on the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in pasture vegetation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date26/05/2006
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Journal number1-2
Volume1116
Number of pages11
Pages20-30
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Pasture vegetation plays an important role in the air-surface exchange and food chain transfer of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Therefore, considerable research has been focused towards measuring PAHs in vegetation using different analytical methods. However, in most cases information on the efficiencies of the different extraction methods employed is missing. This complicates data interpretation and inter-study comparisons. To address this deficiency, the extraction efficiencies of two commonly used pasture vegetation extraction techniques (sonication and soxhlet) and different solvents (hexane, DCM and hexane:acetone [4:1, v/v]) were compared. The completeness of the extraction was investigated using alkaline saponification in methanol. Soxhlet extraction was able to access between 60 and 90% of the total amount of PAHs in the pasture vegetation. Sonication was less efficient, only being able to extract between 10 and 50% of the PAHs. Extraction efficiencies were found to increase with increasing PAH molecular weight. The implications of these findings on data interpretation are discussed.