Welcome to CEM.com

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

May 30, 2018
Download File


Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (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. For example, many of these compounds have been 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.

Soil is one of the most common matrices in which these compounds are present and the extraction of these compounds from soil can be a lengthy and tedious process. The CEM EDGE™ is a revolutionarily simple system for the rapid extraction of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) from soil that is more than six times faster than other automated techniques. With its patent pending Q-Cup Technology™ the EDGE™ makes the extraction process fast and simple and meets the requirements of EPA 3545.



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 soil matrix from which the SVOCs are to be extracted is often complex with multiple components adding to the difficulty of extraction. The CEM 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 3545 is a method for the extraction of water-insoluble or slightly watersoluble volatile and semi-volatile compounds in soils, clays, sediments, sludges, and waste solids. EDGE meets the requirements of EPA 3545 and is preprogrammed with the methodology.