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Keywords:

  • Environmental analysis;
  • Fully porous sub-2 μm particles;
  • High speed;
  • HPLC;
  • Pharmaceuticals

Fast separations are very desirable in laboratories that analyze large numbers of samples per day or those needing short turn-around times. Traditional HPLC methods using conventional stationary phases and standard column dimensions require significant amounts of organic solvents and generate large volumes of waste. With growing awareness about the environment, the development of green technologies has been receiving increasing attention. In this work, a very fast green analytical method based on LC-UV using a short narrow bore column packed with fully porous sub-2 μm particles has been developed for simultaneous determination of nine pharmaceuticals in wastewater and surface water. The chromatographic separation was optimized in order to achieve short analysis time and good resolution for all analytes in a single run. All analytes could be separated in 1 min with good resolution. Sample preparation was executed by solid phase extraction using Oasis HLB cartridges. The method developed was validated based on parameters such as linearity, precision, accuracy, detection, and quantification limits. The recovery ranged from 70.9 to 92.5% with SDs not higher than 5.4%, except for acetaminophen and sulphanilamide. LODs ranged from 0.6–2.5 μg/L, while the LOQs were in the range 2–8 μg/L.