Analysis of Trace Pharmaceuticals and Related Compounds in Municipal Wastewaters by Preconcentration, Chromatography, Derivatization, and Separation Methods

Petra Camilla Lindholm, Juha S. Knuutinen, Heidi S. J. Ahkola, Sirpa H. Herve

Abstract


A significant portion of pharmaceuticals and other organic chemicals consumed by people and animals are released into municipal wastewater treatment plants. Most of them are degraded during the wastewater treatment processes, but some of them degrade only partially and may be widely transported and dispersed into the aquatic environment. This is why efficient and fast analytical methods are needed for detection of organic compounds in wastewaters at trace levels. Because wastewaters often consist of complex matrices and high-molecular mass materials, e.g., lignocellulosic biomass, which may bring challenges to the sample preparation procedures, efficient pre-concentration methods such as solid phase extraction (SPE) solid phase microextraction (SPME), or single drop microextraction (SDME) are needed. The most common analysis methods are gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The aim of this review is to give an overview of chromatographic and spectroscopic methods when characterizing low- and medium-molecular weight organic pollutants, mainly focusing on pharmaceuticals, biocides, and personal care products in environmental matrices.

Keywords


Extraction techniques; Gas Chromatography; Derivatization; Liquid Chromatography; Mass Spectrometry; Municipal wastewater; Pharmaceuticals; Personal care products; Separation methods; Single drop microextraction; Solid phase extraction

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