Methodologies for the analysis of pesticides and pharmaceuticals in sediments and plant tissue

Carvalho, P.N., Zhang, Y., Lyu, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-5162-8103, Arias, C., Bester, K. and Brix, H., 2018. Methodologies for the analysis of pesticides and pharmaceuticals in sediments and plant tissue. Analytical Methods, 10 (30), pp. 3791-3803. ISSN 1759-9660

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Eco-technologies that utilize natural processes involving wetland vegetation, soil and their associated microbial assemblages are increasingly used for the removal of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) from polluted water. However, information on removal processes in these systems is not always available, possibly due to the lack of simple and robust methodologies for analysis of CECs in complex matrices such as sediment and plant tissue. The aim of the present study was to use a simple and fast procedure based on ultrasonic extraction (USE) and reduced clean-up procedures to analyse 8 pesticides and 9 pharmaceuticals by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with diode array detector.

The established methods demonstrated suitable sensitivity and reliability, and proved fit-for-purpose in quantifying multiple classes of pesticides and pharmaceuticals. For sediments, extraction with methanol/acetone (95:5, v/v) followed by a simple evaporation to dryness and redissolution (water:methanol 50:50) provided acceptable recovery (50 - 101%) and RSD < 14%. The complex matrix of plant samples posed specific problems resulting in individualized approaches for pesticides and pharmaceuticals in the final optimized conditions. Pesticides were extracted with n-hexane followed by saponification (KOH), pH adjustment and solid-phase extraction; while pharmaceuticals were extracted with methanol:acetone (95:5), supernatant cleaned with activated carbon, evaporated to dryness and redissolved (water:methanol 50:50) prior to HPLC injection. Final method characteristics, with a few exceptions, showed acceptable recovery (> 64%) with RSD < 22% determined using different types of wetland plants.

The methodology has been successfully applied in different studies on the fate of emerging contaminants in water treatment eco-technology systems.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Analytical Methods
Creators: Carvalho, P.N., Zhang, Y., Lyu, T., Arias, C., Bester, K. and Brix, H.
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Date: 2018
Volume: 10
Number: 30
ISSN: 1759-9660
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Jul 2018 07:41
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2018 13:25

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