Determination of low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil by high performance liquid chromatography with tandem fluorescence and diode-array detectors.

Chemosphere

PubMedID: 23659963

Huang Y, Wei J, Song J, Chen M, Luo Y. Determination of low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil by high performance liquid chromatography with tandem fluorescence and diode-array detectors. Chemosphere. 2013;92(8):1010-6.
Risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contaminated soil and source apportionment require accurate analysis of the concentration of each PAH congener in the soil. However, determination of low level PAH congeners in soil is difficult because of similarity in the chemical properties of 16 PAHs and severe matrix interferences due to complex composition of soils. It is therefore imperative to develop a sensitive and accurate method for determination of low level PAHs in soil. In this work, high performance liquid chromatography equipped with fluorescence and diode-array detectors (HPLC-FLD-DAD) was used to determine the concentration of 16 PAHs in soil. The separation of the 16 PAHs was achieved by optimization of the mobile phase gradient elution program and FLD wavelength switching program. Qualitative analysis of the 16 PAHs was based on the retention time (RT) and each PAH specific spectrum obtained from DAD. In contrast, the quantitative analysis of individual PAH congeners was based on the peak areas at the specific wavelength with DAD and FLD. Under optimal conditions the detection limit was in the range 1.0-9.5 µg L(-1) for 16 PAHs with DAD and 0.01-0.1 µg L(-1) for 15 PAHs with FLD, and the RSD of PAHs was less than 5% with DAD and 3% with FLD. The spiked recoveries were in the range 61-96%, with the exception of NaP (<40%). The results show that HPLC-FLD-DAD can provide more accurate and reliable analysis of low level PAH congeners in soil samples.