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Efficiency of Different Methods and Solvents for the Extraction of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Soils

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The efficiencies of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), accelerated solvent extraction (ASE), Soxhlet, and ultrasonic extraction in the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soils were evaluated. Solvents with different polarity were used to extract the PAHs from two soils, one with high and one with low contamination level. ASE showed good results with all solvents almost independent of the solvent polarity and the best results with acetone-toluene (1 : 1). Ultrasonic extraction with acetone-toluene for the uncontaminated soil and acetone-ethanolamine for the highly contaminated also showed good recoveries. The time-consuming Soxhlet extraction with pentane or dichloromethane was less effective. The PAH recovery from SFE was related to the soil matrix or the contamination level. The best extraction conditions (CO2/10% pentane) are successful for the soil with a low contamination level and a high humic acid content whereas the extractions of the highly contaminated soil gave poor results irrespective of the solvent used.
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Keywords: ASE; PAH; SFE; Soil; Soxhlet extraction; Ultrasonic extraction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Health, RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstrasse 30, D-52074 Aachen, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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