Determination of synthetic phenolic antioxidants and their metabolites in water samples by downscaled solid-phase extraction, silylation and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.J Chromatogr A. 2010 Oct 08; 1217(41):6428-35.JC
The development and performance evaluation of an analytical method dedicated to the comprehensive determination of the most relevant antioxidants and their metabolites in aqueous environmental samples is presented. This was achieved by a miniaturised solid-phase extraction (SPE) with 10mg Oasis HLB cartridges, which allow to achieve a concentration factor of 200, reducing organic solvent wastes (1 mL of ethyl acetate suffices for complete elution) and SPE costs and eliminating the need for solvent evaporation that otherwise compromises the recoveries of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and 2,6-di-tert-butylcyclohexa-2,5-diene-1,4-dione (BHT-Q). Analytes were then determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after derivatisation with N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) in a single run. BHT-d(7) and n-propyl-paraben-d(4) (PrP-d(4)) were used as surrogate internal standards. These surrogates allowed obtaining relative recoveries in the 80-110% range for all analytes even with complex wastewater samples and LODs at the 2-44 ngL(-1) level taking into account blank issues often associated to antioxidants analysis. The method was applied to sewage and river waters, showing that the seven analytes could be detected in raw wastewater. BHT and BHT-Q were the most concentrated species in that type of sample (in the 275-871 ngL(-1) range). On the other hand two metabolites of BHT, 3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (BHT-CHO) and 3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxybenzoic acid (BHT-COOH) appeared to be the most ubiquitous species, being found in all samples in the 10-150 ngL(-1) concentration range.