Determination of pharmaceuticals in solid samples in municipal wastewater treatment plants by online SPE LC–MS/MS using QuEChERS extraction

Junwon Park, Changsoo Kim, Youngmin Hong, Wonseok Lee, Soohyung Lee, Hyenmi Chung, Hyunook Kim, Dong Hwan Jeong

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a pretreatment method based on the QuEChERS method has been applied for simultaneously extracting 27 residual pharmaceuticals from wastewater solids. The extracted compounds have been analyzed using online solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled to liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). A recovery test was conducted according to the absorbent type, and buffers were added in the sample extraction step. The highest recovery efficiency could be observed when Na2SO4 was used as an absorbent and Na2EDTA was injected during the extraction process; the recovery efficiencies of the proposed method for the target compounds ranged from 61.3 to 137.2%, and the repeatability was 6.8%. These recovery and repeatability data showed that the proposed method could reliably analyze the 27 target residual pharmaceuticals. The concentrations of the target compounds were all below the limits of quantification: 830 ng g−1 for the target compounds in suspended solids, 2353 ng g−1 in activated sludge, and 1929 ng g−1 in waste sludge. The analytical method established in this study can be applied to quantify residual pharmaceuticals in solid samples and to investigate their behaviors in a municipal wastewater treatment plant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number279
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume193
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Method validation
  • Municipal wastewater
  • Online SPE
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • QuEChERS extraction

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