HPLC Application Note: U.S. EPA Priority Pollutants in Water

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Most basic recommended instrument: Cecil Adept System 4S.

It normally takes about 40 minutes to analyze a 16-component mixture of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs). With the aid of the Cecil Instruments WaveQuest UV-VIS HPLC detector, this analysis is greatly accelerated up to 4 min, and can now be performed on a routine basis. The WaveQuest detector is very useful in checking for the spectral purity of the fast eluting peaks.

Minimum analytical instrument requirement
  • Binary HPLC system featuring an ultrafast scanning UV-VIS HPLC detector
  • Chromatography system manager with the ability to visualize spectral data.
Typical method

Temperature: Ambient

Mobile phase: Binary gradient of water (HPLC grade) and acetonitrile (HPLC grade) Typical chromatogram:

Gradient: time 0.00 min—50% water, 50% acetonitrile, flow rate 3 mL/min; time 1.00 min—50% water, 50% acetonitrile, flow rate 3 mL/min; time 2.50 min—2% water, 98% acetonitrile, flow rate 3 mL/min; time 4.00 min—2% water, 98% acetonitrile, flow rate 3 mL/min

Wavelength: 254 nm.
Sample volume: 2 μL.
Run time: 4 min.

Column: 5 cm Supelcosil® LC-PAH column (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO), 3 μm.

Composition of sample: made up to parts-per-billion levels, of each of the following analyticalgrade components, in acetonitrile (HPLC grade):
Naphthalene: Benzo(a)anthracene
Acenaphthylene: Chrysene
Acenaphthene: Benzo(b)fluoranthene
Fluorene: Benzo(k)fluoranthene
Phenanthrene: Benzo(a)pyrene
Anthracene: Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene
Fluoranthene: Benzo(ghi)perylene
Pyrene: Indo(1,2,3-cd)pyrene.

Cecil Instruments Ltd., Milton Technical Centre, Cambridge CB4 6AZ, U.K.; tel.: +44 01223 420821; fax: +44 01223 420475; e-mail: info@ cecilinstruments.com; www.cecilinstruments.com. This note acts purely as a guide to the method. Cecil Instruments Ltd. takes no responsibility for the outcome of any analysis.