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Extraction of Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds from Soil in Accordance with EPA 3545

October 29, 2019
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Summary


Soil is one of the most common matrices in which semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are present. The extraction of these compounds from soil can be a lengthy and tedious process. The EDGE® is a revolutionary simple system for the rapid extraction of SVOCs from soil that is more than six times faster than other automated techniques. The patent pending Q-Cup Technology™ combines the process of Pressurized Fluid Extraction (PFE) and Dispersive Solid Phase Extraction (dSPE) in a single instrument that yields a fast, simple, and efficient extract. While maintaining all properties of PFE and adhering to EPA 3545A, the EDGE also offers the benefits of the easy-to-assemble Q-Cup™ sample holder. The Q-Cup, with its unique open cell concept, creates a dispersive effect and promotes rapid extraction and filtration.

 

Introduction 


SVOCs are a subgroup of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that have a high molecular weight and high boiling points. They are primarily composed of pesticides and herbicides. Prolonged exposure to these compounds, especially indoors, raises a public health concern, including several listed by the US EPA as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). This classification applies to pollutants that can cause serious health effects, such as allergies, asthma, endocrine and thyroid disruption, reproductive toxicity, fetal and child development delays, and even cancer.


Semi-volatile organic compounds consist of substances with a broad set of chemical properties and structural features. These differences make it challenging to efficiently extract all analytes of interest with one method. Furthermore, the complexity of the soil matrix from which the SVOCs are to be extracted often includes multiple components, adding to the complexity of extraction. The EDGE with Q-Cup Technology can effectively extract a difficult set of analytes from complex matrices with one simple method.


Traditional methods, such as Soxhlet, are very time consuming and use a large amount of solvent. Automated methods often require tedious sample preparation with complex sample holders. EDGE is the fastest exaction system available and uses a minimal amount of solvent. The Q-Cup sample holder is comprised of two easy-to-assemble pieces, allowing the sample to be prepared in seconds.


Due to their persistent nature, SVOCs continue to accumulate and concentrate in our environment. To ensure our safety, these compounds need to be extracted, identified, and quantified. The accuracy of SVOC analysis is dependent on an efficient extraction. EDGE yields an efficient extract that is filtered, cooled, and ready for analysis in under 5 minutes. EPA 3545A is a method for the extraction of water-insoluble or slightly water-soluble volatile and semi-volatile compounds in soils, clays, sediments, sludges, and waste solids. EDGE meets the requirements of EPA 3545A and is preprogrammed for that method.


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