Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are derived from a number of sources including anthropogenic (i.e. industrial processes and combustion of fossil fuels) or natural (i.e. forest fires, volcanic activity and geological sources). The 16 PAH priority pollutants are known for their carcinogenic effect and mutagenic characteristics. Previous studies describe pressurised fluid extraction (PFE) as an effective way to extract components from soils, compared to other extraction methods, such as microwave, ultrasonic and Soxhlet extraction.1 In this study column chromatography has been evaluated for soil clean-up following PFE. The influence of two different absorbents (florisil and alumina) on extract clean-up have been investigated with respect to PAH recovery. This approach has been compared with an in-situ PFE procedure.2 The aim of this work is to establish a robust and effective procedure for the recovery of PAHs from contaminated soil prior to analysis by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
|Published - 2008