Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Optimization of a sensitive method for the determination of nitro musk fragrances in waters by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography with micro electron capture detection using factorial experimental design.

PMID 17565486


A solid-phase microextraction method (SPME) followed by gas chromatography with micro electron capture detection for determining trace levels of nitro musk fragrances in residual waters was optimized. Four nitro musks, musk xylene, musk moskene, musk tibetene and musk ketone, were selected for the optimization of the method. Factors affecting the extraction process were studied using a multivariate approach. Two extraction modes (direct SPME and headspace SPME) were tried at different extraction temperatures using two fiber coatings [Carboxen-polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS) and polydimethylsiloxane-divinylbenzene (PDMS/DVB)] selected among five commercial tested fibers. Sample agitation and the salting-out effect were also factors studied. The main effects and interactions between the factors were studied for all the target compounds. An extraction temperature of 100 degrees C and sampling the headspace over the sample, using either CAR/PDMS or PDMS/DVB as fiber coatings, were found to be the experimental conditions that led to a more effective extraction. High sensitivity, with detection limits in the low nanogram per liter range, and good linearity and repeatability were achieved for all nitro musks. Since the method proposed performed well for real samples, it was applied to different water samples, including wastewater and sewage, in which some of the target compounds (musk xylene and musk ketone) were detected and quantified.