Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 409, Issue 15, pp 3861–3870 | Cite as

Investigation of carbon-based nanomaterials as sorbents for headspace in-tube extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

  • Xochitli L. Osorio Barajas
  • Thorsten Hüffer
  • Pascal Mettig
  • Beat Schilling
  • Maik A. Jochmann
  • Torsten C. Schmidt
Research Paper


Carbon-based nanomaterials (CNM) represent promising materials for the application as sorbents in micro- and other extraction devices. In this work, we investigate the applicability of five different CNM (multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), fullerenes, carboxylic acid functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs-COOH), graphene platelets, and carbon nanohorns) for their performance on PAH extraction from the aqueous phase by headspace in-tube extraction (HS-ITEX). Optimal extraction parameters for HS-ITEX were determined using a Box-Behnken experimental design. From the extraction yield response, central point analysis, fullerenes showed the best extraction properties for the eight selected headspace compatible PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene). Fullerenes were used for a further method validation including the linear range, limit of detection, precision, as well as recovery. Finally, extraction yields were compared to a commercial material (Tenax GR), demonstrating that fullerene represents a better option as sorbent in ITEX for PAH analysis. Method detection limits for the PAH on fullerene ranged from 10 to 300 ng L−1, with recoveries between 45 and 103%.


PAHs Carbon-based nanomaterials Headspace ITEX GC/MS Box-Behnken design 



We thank the German Science Foundation, DFG Project SCHM1372/10-2, for funding and CTC Analytik AG (Zwingen, Switzerland) for cooperation and support with the ITEX 2 system. We also thank Prof. Karl Molt for his valuable comments, Promise A. Dzandu for the IGC measurements, and Dr. Ulrich Hagemann for the XPS measurements.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2017_331_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (620 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 620 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xochitli L. Osorio Barajas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thorsten Hüffer
    • 3
  • Pascal Mettig
    • 1
  • Beat Schilling
    • 4
  • Maik A. Jochmann
    • 1
    • 5
  • Torsten C. Schmidt
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Instrumental Analytical ChemistryUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Dow Deutschland Anlagen GmbH, Analytical SciencesStadeGermany
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Geosciences and Environmental Science Research NetworkUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.BGB Analytik GmbHAdliswilSwitzerland
  5. 5.Centre for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU)University of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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