Navigation Links
Determining pollution level of a medium without wasting tools, time or solvents possible
Date:7/8/2011

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are organic compounds that can be highly contaminant. They are found, amongst other places, in soils occupied by metallurgical or pharmaceutical industries and in waters polluted by ships' fuel. Chemist Dani Zuazagoitia has proposed simple techniques for analysing the impact of PAHs on a number of media, based on headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME). He drew up the methodology, prepared it for the pertinent circumstances and applied it in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa. He defended the thesis at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), with the title Fase solidoko mikroerauzketan oinarritutako metodoen garapena hidrokarburo aromatiko poliziklikoen determinaziorako. Aplikazioa eta ebaluazioa ingurumen laginetan (Development of SPMEs for determining PAHs. Application and evaluation in environmental samples).

Mr Zuazagoitia has published a number of articles on his research, the latest being in the United States journal Soil & Sediment Contamination, and entitled Evaluation of soil contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Gipuzkoa (Northern Spain).

Extraction without touching the sample

The HS-SPME procedure for the analysis of samples is a screening method; these analyses provide a rapid response (positive/negative) without wasting tools, time or solvents. With this procedure in concrete, a needle is inserted into the sample container top. This needle contains a fibre that has to be taken out of it on insertion, so that the substance to be analysed is absorbed from the headspace. This space is that between the sample and the cap and information can be obtained from there only in the case of volatile compounds such as PAHs. The procedure of extraction from the headspace enables conserving the fibre in optimum conditions. If it is inserted directly into the sample it can be spoilt due to the large molecules, but using HS-SPME, non-volatile and large molecule interference is avoided.

After extraction desorption should be proceeded with, in order to free the gases absorbed by the fibre and thus separate the substances. Mr Zuazagoitia opted for gas chromatography, by which the components can be separated with notable volatility at temperatures less than 350-400 degrees. Subsequently, the components were quantified using an FID ionisation detector.

Optimisation of three procedures

For his thesis Mr Zuazagoitia developed methods which, based on HS-SPME, determined various small and medium molecular weight PAHs simultaneously, considering the diversity of conditions that these methods have to comply with, depending on the matrix to analyse (water, earth, sediments, and so on). Likewise, given the numerous variables that condition the process, an experimental design that optimised the response of the method was opted for. Using the Statistica programme, it is not necessary to carry out trials with each variable in order to ascertain their ups and downs beforehand.

Mr Zuazagoitia stated that, effectively, there exist rapid and simple methods and that can be undertaken with any laboratory analytical tools. Other characteristics of these methods involve having a rapid response (positive/negative) objective and being environmentally friendly, on not using organic solvents. The three procedures optimised in the thesis (water, earth, sediments) comply with these features.

In San Sebastin, Bergara and Pasaia

The researcher also took on the task of putting into practice methods for studying the pollution of water, earth and sediments in Gipuzkoa. According to the samples analysed, the concentrations of PAHs in the sea and river water in the territory are not relevant. However, there is a high level of contamination in leached waters, meaning that there is a high concentration of PAHs in soil these originate from. With the soil samples, Mr Zuazagoitia detected high levels of pollution in two zones of San Sebastian (the capital city of Gipuzkoa): in an area where a gas factory used to be located (in Morlans, Amara); and in a store for timber that was treated with creosote, a toxic substance (in Oriamendi). Finally, as regards sediments, PAHs were found in all the locations analysed and especially in the towns of Bergara (river Deba) and Pasaia (river Oiartzun).


'/>"/>

Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sex on the brain: Doublesex gene key to determining fruit fly gender
2. Chemical equator discovery will aid pollution mapping
3. Lichens function as indicators of nitrogen pollution in forests
4. Wildfires cause ozone pollution to violate health standards, new study shows
5. Mercury pollution causes immune damage to harbor seals
6. K-State research: Freshwater pollution costs US at least $4.3 billion a year
7. Pollution at home lurks unrecognized, instead attributed to large-scale environmental disasters
8. Light pollution offers new global measure of coral reef health
9. Surface-level ozone pollution set to reduce tree growth 10 percent by 2100
10. New satellite data reveal impact of Olympic pollution controls
11. Study links water pollution with declining male fertility
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has ... features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® ... be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... WAKEFIELD, Mass. , Aug. 16, 2017  This year,s edition of ... global leader in life sciences workforce solutions, has made the list for ... Inc. 5000 recognizes the nation,s fastest-growing private companies based on a set ... Fast 50, which includes the fastest-growing companies in the Bay ... Inc. 5000 ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... 2017 After spending the past two years building a ... collection, GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, ... adherence, and data collection vis a vis their members, under their ... launch of this offer. ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces the launch of the new NHS ... to gain kinetic binding data for a wide range of molecules, including small ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... Any expert in ... has compromised these disciplines for more than half a century. Despite their essential ... It is widely known that molecular tags developed for this purpose also tag ...
Breaking Biology Technology: