Overcome memory effect in dioxin extraction on environmental matrices

The environmental department of SYNLAB Linköping is focused on the determination of organic pollutants in different matrices, such as Dioxins and Furans, PAH’s and PCB’s. The environmental department of SYNLAB Linköping carries out a large selection of organic pollutant analyses. They work to determine dioxins in soils, sludges, bottom sediments, ashes and building materials and in some food matrices, above all in fish samples.
With 40-year history as a contract laboratory, their lab is well equipped for organic pollutant testing with the latest technologically advanced instrumentation, such as GC-MS, GC-MS-MS and magnetic sector mass spectrometer. They equipped their laboratory with a Milestone’s ETHOS X microwave extraction system with the fastEX-24 rotor to extraction from soils and solid matrices.
In particular, they are focused on the determination of the following classes of organic pollutants:
- Dioxins
- PAH’s
- PCB’s

SYNLAB’s Laboratory performs extractions using different techniques, such as sonication, soxhlet and automated soxhlet systems. In particular, they have two (2) Accelerated Solvent Extraction systems to extract dioxins from environmental matrices.
The main issue with this technique is related to memory effect/ carryover in the extraction cells. The stability of the dioxins requires long and tedious cleaning procedures of the extraction vessels. Moreover, they have experience solvent leakage and high maintenance costs.
As a result, with conventional extraction systems, it is not possible to achieve the high throughput requested by daily assignments.
“At SYNLAB, we were impressed with the efficiency of the new Milestone ETHOS X with the fastEX-24 rotor over other technologies already available in our lab.”
They decided to move their current extraction methods to microwave technology. The main reason for the change is gaining efficiency, because they can run 24 samples simultaneously. Secondly, the ETHOS X’s ease of use as the fastEX24 rotor is specifically designed to overcome the memory effect and the cleaning steps by using disposable glass vials as reaction vessels, which are placed into a pressure reactor. This approach leads to ensure great analytical blanks and completely avoid carryover between runs. This results in increasing throughput and lowering labor costs. The glass vials are inexpensive and consumable cost are negligible. They can now process up to 24 samples in 40 minutes with the fastEX-24 rotor, reducing the cost per analysis.

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