Salting-out solvent extraction for the off-line preconcentration of benzalkonium chloride in capillary electrophoresis

Terence S.K. So, Carmen W K HUIE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The use of salting-out effect for the off-line preconcentration of charged analytes in capillary electrophoresis is demonstrated for the first time. Using benzalkonium chloride (BAK) as model compound, a mixture of cationic surfactants consisting of even-numbered alkylbenzyl quaternary ammonium homologues (C8-C18), the addition of appropriate amounts of sodium chloride and acetonitrile in the sample solution (2 mL sample volume) was found to be capable of providing ca. 40-fold enhancement in detection sensitivity. In addition to affording a preconcentrating effect due to the extraction of BAK in the smaller volume water-miscible organic solvent phase (acetonitrile), the organic solvent also serves to improve the peak area and shape of the longer chain surfactants. Optimal experimental conditions, such as volume of acetonitrile and concentration of sodium chloride, for the preconcentration of BAK with good preconcentration factors and reproducibility were investigated. The usefulness of the present method was demonstrated for the improved determination of BAK present in commercially available industrial and pharmaceutical products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2143-2149
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • Salting-out extraction


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