Determination of phthalate esters in soil using a quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe method followed by GC–MS

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Feb 9, 2018
  • Author: Qianjun Liu, Di Chen, Jiyuan Wu, Guangcai Yin, Qintie Lin, Min Zhang, Huawen Hu
  • Journal: Journal of Separation Science


A quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe procedure was designed to extract pesticide residues from fruits and vegetables with a high percentage of water. It has not been used extensively for the extraction of phthalate esters from sediments, soils, and sludges. In this work, this procedure was combined with gas chromatography with mass spectrometry to determine 16 selected phthalate esters in soil. The extraction efficiency of the samples was improved by ultrasonic extraction and dissolution of the soil samples in ultra‐pure water, which promoted the dispersion of the samples. Furthermore, we have simplified the extraction step and reduced the risk of organic solvent contamination by minimizing the use of organic solvents. Different extraction solvents and clean‐up adsorbents were compared to optimize the procedure. Dichloromethane/n‐hexane (1:1, v/v) and n‐hexane/acetone (1:1, v/v) were selected as the extractants from the six extraction solvents tested. C18/primary secondary amine (1:1, m/m) was selected as the sorbent from the five clean‐up adsorbents tested. The recoveries from the spiked soils ranged from 70.00 to 117.90% with relative standard deviation values of 0.67–4.62%. The proposed approach was satisfactorily applied for the determination of phthalate esters in 12 contaminated soil samples.

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