Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 403, Issue 9, pp 2541–2552 | Cite as

Occurrence of residual water within disk-based solid-phase extraction and its effect on GC-MS measurement of organic extracts of environmental samples

  • Christine Erger
  • Peter Balsaa
  • Friedrich Werres
  • Torsten C. SchmidtEmail author
Original Paper


Solid-phase extraction (SPE) is a widespread and powerful sample preparation technique in many analytical areas. Many of the used methods reduce residual water during sample preparation by drying the phase material. Despite the importance of this step, hardly any study deals specifically with the drying process, and if so, only few aspects are mentioned. The present study is the first systematic investigation of the drying process using SPE disks, including the influence of process parameters on the amount of residual water and its consequences for subsequent elution and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. The following points were investigated in detail: (1) the change of pressure and volume flow during the drying process, (2) the remaining amount of water at different drying times for different SPE materials, (3) the influence of suspended particulate matter on the drying process and (4) the effects of the residual water on the elution step by using different organic solvents. The study shows that the volume of residual water in the SPE disk is affected by the fixation of the sorbent, the phase material, the amount of sorbent, the pumping settings and the duration of the drying process. Furthermore, systematic investigations demonstrate the influence of residual water on the GC-MS analysis and show analytical interferences only for a few of the investigated analytes. All results suggest that more problems in SPE GC-MS methods are caused by residual water than previously assumed.


Solid-phase extraction disk Drying Residual water GC-MS Priority pollutants 



The work was supported by the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology based on a resolution of the German Parliament; ZIM—Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand and AiF—Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen “Otto von Guericke” e.V.. We also thank Varian Inc. and J. T. Baker for donation of materials.

Supplementary material

216_2011_5659_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (467 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 9.73 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Erger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Balsaa
    • 1
  • Friedrich Werres
    • 1
  • Torsten C. Schmidt
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.IWW Water CentreMülheim an der RuhrGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemistry, Instrumental Analytical ChemistryUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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