At-line SPE–GC–MS of micropollutants in water using the PrepStation
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An automated at-line SPE–GC–MS system for the determination of micropollutants in aqueous samples, which is based on the PrepStation and uses large-volume on-column injections, has been redesigned. A cartridge made from stainless steel and polychlorotrifluoroethylene and a 2-needle system was constructed which allow the determination of micropollutants at the low ng/L level without interferences from impurities extracted from the septa of the vials or the commercial cartridges. No time-consuming pre-cleaning of the cartridges or septa is required. The SPE sample extract (300 μL) is transferred from the sample preparation module to the autosampler of the GC–MS and 50 or 100 μL are injected. The analytical characteristics of the integrated procedure such as analyte recovery (typically 80–105%) and repeatability (RSDs, 2–9%), were satisfactory. Several micropollutants were detected in (unfiltered) river water at the 0.2–400 ng/L level using full-scan MS acquisition. The system proved to be robust during the analysis of more than 100 tap and river water samples.
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