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about spe

Solid Phase Extraction is an extraction process whereby an aqueous sample is filtered through a bed of sorbent particles. The sorbent particles are usually in the form of a disk or a cartridge. Analytes of interest are removed from the aqueous sample and concentrated onto the sorbent.  Once concentrated, the analytes are removed from the sorbent by a series of eluting solvent rinses.


Solid Phase Extraction methods offer significant advantages over traditional Liquid-Liquid Extraction (LLE) techniques.

  • SPE uses less solvent than a typical LLE procedure
  • SPE is faster; only 20-30 min for a 1-liter sample
  • SPE costs considerably less than LLE
  • SPE provides comparable / better recoveries than LLE
  • EPA Methods are constantly being developed for SPE
Comparison of LLE and SPE Disk Methods
LLE SPE Disk
Uses 200 to 500 mL of solvent Uses 20 to 30 mL of solvent
Shaking/continuous process Filtration process
Forms emulsions and surfactants No emulsions formed
Limited selectivity Wide selectivity (absorbent)
Requires solvent removal Optional
Two hours per sample 20 minutes per sample

 



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