Do Flow Rates Matter in SPE?

Have you ever wondered why solution flow rates are so important when performing sample preparation with solid phase extraction (SPE)?  If you have, read on – I have the answer for you! Throughout my college career, the phrase “like dissolves like” was referred to quite frequently.  This phrase was particularly relevant when we did solubility … Continue reading Do Flow Rates Matter in SPE?

Understanding SPE Retention Mechanisms

As a chemist, I’ve constantly stressed the importance of proper sample preparation.  Whether I’m diluting, digesting, preconcentrating, extracting, or performing a combination of these, sample preparation is the key to making my analysis a success, yet it’s often the most challenging part of my workflow.  Some of my preparation procedures are simply daunting – a … Continue reading Understanding SPE Retention Mechanisms

The Chemistry of SPE

New year – fresh start If you’re like me, you start the new year off with a list of resolutions for the coming months – resolutions to be more fit or to secure a promotion at work or to reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you’re trying to improve your health or further your career, these … Continue reading The Chemistry of SPE

The Hidden Dangers of Organic Solvents

“Our laboratory uses organic solvents every day.  Should we be concerned about solvent exposure?” I hear this question fairly often and the short and simple answer is: YES. But if this were a simple yes/no question, I wouldn’t have anything else to say, and this would be the shortest blog post that’s ever been written.

Everything You Wanted to Know About EPA Method 8270 But Were Afraid to Ask

On the surface, EPA Method 8270 seems pretty straightforward.  The first version of this method was published over a decade ago and many environmental labs are processing samples according to the guidelines in this method.  The EPA summarizes the goals of the method in a single sentence on their website: “This method [is] for analysis … Continue reading Everything You Wanted to Know About EPA Method 8270 But Were Afraid to Ask

Organochlorine Pesticides: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“Pesticides” is one of those terms that invokes a wide range of emotions in people.  Some people smile when they think of the insecticides that keep their award-winning flower garden looking beautiful all season.  Some people feel grateful for the algaecides in their fish tank that let their kids’ pet fish (who’ve probably been given … Continue reading Organochlorine Pesticides: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

6 Changes to EPA Method 8270 That You May Not Be Aware Of

The U.S. EPA monitors a variety of compounds that pose public health risks when they are present in our air, soil or water and they have spent decades publishing methods to help us extract and quantify those compounds.  The 8000 Series EPA Methods describe the extraction and analysis of contaminants in groundwater and Method 8270 … Continue reading 6 Changes to EPA Method 8270 That You May Not Be Aware Of

7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making with Solid Phase Extraction

Solid phase extraction (SPE) is a powerful sample preparation tool that makes it possible to extract semi-volatile organic compounds with varying physical and chemical properties.  When used properly, this tool will simultaneously extract hundreds of analytes from the most challenging sample matrices.  When used improperly – well, this tool can quickly become as effective as … Continue reading 7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making with Solid Phase Extraction

Improvements in Processing Drinking Water Samples by Method 525, Part 2: Extraction Procedure

In the first part of this 2-part blog series, I highlighted the improvements made by the EPA regarding the preparation and preservation of samples.  In this post, I will focus more on the changes the EPA has made to Method 525 which affect the analysis of the prepared samples.

Why It’s Easier to Succeed With Wastewater Extractions Than You Might Think

There’s nothing more satisfying than successfully extracting a really challenging sample.  Solid phase extraction (SPE) is a powerful technique for extracting semi-volatile organic compounds and hexane-extractable materials (HEMs).  When the chemistry is tailored to meet the requirements of the application, literally hundreds of compounds can be extracted with a single pass of solution through an … Continue reading Why It’s Easier to Succeed With Wastewater Extractions Than You Might Think