Stability of benzalkonium surfactants on hemimicelle-based solid-phase extraction cartridges.

Journal of chromatography. A

PubMedID: 16257284

Luque N, Merino F, Rubio S, Pérez-Bendito D. Stability of benzalkonium surfactants on hemimicelle-based solid-phase extraction cartridges. J Chromatogr A. 2005;1094(1-2):17-23.
The capability of hemimicelle-based solid-phase extraction cartridges for the preservation of organic compounds after their concentration from water samples was investigated for the first time. The approach is illustrated by studying the stability of benzalkonium homologue (C12, C14 and C16) surfactants (BAS) on monolayers of dodecyl sulphate (SDS) hemimicelles formed on alumina. The stability study included storage of cartridges at room temperature, at 4 and -20 degrees C, during a period of up to 3 months. The influence of water matrix components was also investigated from parallel experiments using spiked distilled, river and wastewater samples. Complete recovery of BAS was obtained for all storage conditions tested. Recoveries were independent on the alkyl chain length of BAS homologues and water matrix. The SPE of BAS on the SDS hemimicelles had a strong stabilizing effect for the target compounds and their analysis can be accomplished after at least 3 months without the necessity of special storage conditions for cartridges. Because of the lack of data, an additional stability study was carried out for BAS in an aqueous matrix using traditional preservation methods such as acidification (pH 2)/refrigeration, addition of formaldehyde (5%)/refrigeration, and freezing (-20 degrees C). Only combination of chemical addition (e.g. nitric acid or formaldehyde)/refrigeration was found effective to preserve BAS in the short term (e.g. for a week), then losses up to 40% were observed for these target compounds after a month.