Trace level determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in river water with automated pretreatment HPLC


Correspondence: Dr. Takuya Kubo, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 6158510, Japan


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A novel on-line pretreatment pump-injection HPLC system for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is proposed. We report novel pump-injection HPLC-based on-line SPE with a specially designed pretreatment column for the determination of trace amounts of chemical substances in surface water. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are well known for strong carcinogenicity and thus a severe concentration control is required for drinking water and/or river water, which is the main resource of tap water. We found it possible to detect ng/L levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by using pump-injection column switching HPLC with fluorescence detection. To avoid the phenomenon, in which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can be often adsorbed on the surface of flow lines of HPLC by their highly hydrophobicity especially resin-made parts in sample delivery pump, we employed “autodilution” device that provides reliable recovery and repeatability. Additionally, real water samples were collected and then the spiked polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were determined at ng/L levels.