Ultrahigh performance liquid chromatographic analysis and magnetic preconcentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by Fe3O4-doped polymeric nanoparticles

Xicui Zhang, Shunping Xie, Man Chin Paau, Baozhan Zheng, Hongyan Yuan, Dan Xiao*, Martin M F CHOI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the synthesis of hydrophilic-hydrophobic magnetic Fe3O4-doped polymeric nanoparticles (MPNP) and its application for preconcentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in environmental water samples for ultrahigh performance liquid chromatographic (UHPLC) analysis. The MPNP were prepared from highly charged poly(styrene-divinylbenzene-co-4-vinylbenzenesulfonic acid sodium salt) nanoparticles impregnated with Fe2+ via the electrostatic attraction and by microwave heating. The MPNP are relatively uniform in size with an average diameter of 50nm and have a magnetic saturation value of 24.5emu/g. The hydrophilic-hydrophobic MPNP could easily disperse in water. The phenyl moieties of MPNP assist the adsorption of PAHs via both hydrophobic and π-π interactions. The separation of the PAHs-adsorbed MPNP from water could be easily achieved by a permanent magnet and the adsorbed PAHs were back extracted into acetonitrile for UHPLC analysis. The UHPLC separation of PAHs is very quick and could be achieved within 1.6min. Factors affecting the extraction and desorption were investigated in detail. Under the optimum experimental conditions, the recoveries of various PAHs including acenaphthylene, anthracene, fluoranthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene in water samples at three different concentrations are 75.7-102.9, 77.8-101.2, 86.3-100.7, 88.5-99.7, 92.0-106.4, and 81.6-98.5%, respectively. The recovery SDs are 0.30-8.20% and the instrumental limits of detection are 10.83-18.53nM. The proposed technique combining hydrophobic extraction and magnetic separation coupled with UHPLC could provide a fast, convenient and sensitive method for the determination of PAHs in water samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hydrophilic-hydrophobic magnetic polymeric nanoparticles
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Solid-phase extraction
  • Ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography


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