Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 400, Issue 2, pp 571–575 | Cite as

Membrane distillation as an online concentration technique: application to the determination of pharmaceutical residues in natural waters

  • Ken Gethard
  • Somenath MitraEmail author
Original Paper


Membrane distillation (MD) is presented for the first time as a real-time, online concentration technique, where the aqueous matrix is removed from the sample to enhance analyte enrichment. Therefore, MD is a universal method for a wide range of compounds and is unlike conventional membrane extractions that rely on the permeation of the solute into an extractant phase. The MD process showed excellent precision with relative standard deviation between 3% and 5%, linear calibration, and the detection limits for pharmaceutical compounds in the range of 0.01 to 20 mg L−1 by HPLC-UV analysis. The temperature and flow rate of the feed solution were found to be important variables.


Membrane distillation Hollow fiber membrane Enrichment factor Solvent reduction 



KG would like to acknowledge Don Parriott for all his help and advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental ScienceNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

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