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Recovery of s-triazine herbicides and associated breakdown products from granular activated carbon using supercritical fluid extraction

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S-triazine herbicides and associated breakdown products were recovered from granular activated carbon (GAC) using a dual pump supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) system capable of modifier addition. Analyte recovery was very low using supercritical carbon dioxide alone, was moderately improved by acetone modification in the static mode, and was significantly improved by dynamic acetone modification. Quantitative extraction of atrazine and simazine was achieved in 30 min using 50 mol% acetone in CO2, although recoveries for associated break-down products (deethylatrazine and deethylsimazine) were limited to 70%. S-triazine extraction rates were independent of the flow rate of the extracting fluid, indicating a significant interaction of s-triazine molecules with active sites on the GAC matrix surface and a kinetic limitation to the desorption process. SFE was as precise as, and much faster than, Soxhlet extraction for the determination of these priority pollutants and was advantageous in terms of improved analyte recovery and reduced solvent and labour requirements.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1995

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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