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Solid-Phase Microextraction in Environmental Analysis

Environment: Water and Waste

  1. Janusz Pawliszyn

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0869

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Pawliszyn, J. 2006. Solid-Phase Microextraction in Environmental Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) uses a small volume of sorbent dispersed typically on a surface of small fibers to isolate and concentrate analytes from a sample matrix. After contact with the sample, analytes are absorbed or adsorbed by the fiber phase (depending on the nature of the coating) until an equilibrium is reached in the system. The amount of an analyte extracted by the coating at equilibrium is determined by the magnitude of the partition coefficient of the analyte between the sample matrix and the coating material. After the extraction step, the fibers are transferred, with the help of the syringe-like handling device, to an analytical instrument, for separation and quantitation of target analytes. This technique is able to integrate sampling, extraction and sample introduction in a simple way, facilitating on-site monitoring. The additional advantages include elimination of solvents from the sample preparation step and convenient introduction of extracted components into the analytical instrument. Applications of this technique to date include environmental, industrial hygiene, process monitoring, clinical, forensic, food and flavor, fragrance and drugs, in laboratory and on-site analysis.