Solid-phase microextraction to monitor the sonochemical degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water

J Environ Monit. 2003 Feb;5(1):135-40. doi: 10.1039/b208970j.


Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled with GC-MS has been used to monitor the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by ultrasound treatment. Immersion SPME sampling enabled the fast and solventless extraction of target contaminants at the low microg l(-1) concentration level. The developed protocol was found to be linear in the concentration range from 0.1 to 50 microg l(-1) for most target analytes, with the limits of detection ranging between 0.01 and 0.70 microg l(-1) and the relative standard deviations between 4.31 and 27%. The developed SPME protocol was used to follow concentration profiles of aqueous solutions containing 16 PAHs, which were subject to low frequency ultrasonic irradiation. At the conditions employed in this study (80 kHz of ultrasound frequency, 130 W l(-1) of applied electric power density, 30 microg l(-1) of initial concentration for each of the 16 PAHs), sonochemical treatment was found capable of destroying the lower molecular weight PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene and pyrene) within 120-180 min of irradiation. The higher molecular weight PAHs were more recalcitrant to ultrasound treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Weight
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / chemistry*
  • Ultrasonics*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical