Reported herein is new analytical methodology for the determination of 90 emerging contaminants (ECs) in liquid environmental matrices (crude wastewater, final effluent and river water). The application of a novel buffer, ammonium fluoride improved signal response for several ECs determined in negative ionisation mode. Most notably the sensitivity of steroid estrogens was improved by 4-5 times in environmental extracts. Method recoveries ranged from 40 to 152% in all matrices and method quantitation limits (MQLs) achieved were <1ngL-1 for numerous ECs. Development of a microwave assisted extraction (MAE) protocol as an additional sample extraction step for solid matrices enabled 63 ECs to be simultaneously analysed in digested sludge. To the authors knowledge this is considerably more than any previously reported MAE method. Here, MQLs ranged from 0.1-24.1ngg-1 dry weight. The application of MAE offers several advantages over pressurized liquid extraction including faster sample preparation, lower solvent requirements, and the ability to perform several extractions simultaneously as well as lower purchasing and running costs. To demonstrate the method's sensitivity, application to environmental samples revealed 68 and 40 ECs to be above their respective MQL in liquid environmental samples and digested sludge, respectively. To date, this is the most comprehensive multi-residue analytical method reported in the literature for the determination of ECs in both liquid and solid environmental matrices.
- Illicit drug
- Liquid chromatography
- Mass spectrometry
- Microwave assisted extraction