The Comparison of Silica Gel-Alumina Sorbents for Separation of PAHs and PCBs

Document Type: Research Article


1 Laboratory of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Pesticides, Department of the Environment (DOE), Pardisan Research Center, Tehran, I.R. IRAN

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, I.R. IRAN


The aim of this research is to develop a silica gel and alumina column chromatography for separation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into two groups. This is achieved by optimizing the cut-off volume of eluting solvent and weight ratio of silica gel and alumina. In this process mixture of PAHs and PCBs divide in two groups and simultaneously other interferences like lipids and aliphatic compounds are removed. So the sample is prepared to be analyzed and quantified by HPLC. The main purpose of the research was to find a combination of sorbents for the column chromatography method that would permit the determination of many types of pollutants (PAHs, PCBs and aliphatic compounds) in a single run. Elution profiles for both the analytes and the interfering components were determined for several types of column chromatography sorbents (alumina, silica) and combination of them.The silica: alumina (5:5 g) column is suitable for the separation of PCBs and silica: alumina (5:10 g) is preferred for the separation of PAHs.  The efficiency of the developed clean- up method was evaluated using real sediment sample.


Main Subjects

[1] Aceves, M., Grimalt, J.O, Albaiges, J., Broto, F., Comellas, L. and Gassiot, M., J. of Chromatogr.,  436, 503 (1988).
[2] American Society for testing and Materials, Standard Test Method for PCBs in water, ASTM D3543-85, Philadelphia, PA, USA, (1995).
[3] Zebuher, Y., Environ. Sci. Technol., 30, 214 (1996).
[4] Erickson, M.D., “Analytical Chemistry”, Second Edition, Lewis Publisher, New York, p. 31 (1997).
[5] Floch, I.,  Vaquero, M. T., Broto-puig,  F., J. of Chromatogr., A, 719, 1121 (1996).
[6] Kresselmeir, A., Durbeck, H.W., J. of Chromatogr., A, 775, 187 (1997).
[7] Lopez-Avila, V., Young, R., Kim, R., J. of Chromatogr., Sci., 33, 481 (1995).
[8] Jensen, S., Renberg, L., Anal. Chem., 49, 316 (1977).
[9] Dean, J. R., “Extraction Methods for Environmental Analysis”, Wiley, Chichester, (1998).
[10] Schulz,  H.,  Huhn,  G.,  Sci., Total Environ., 232, 49 (1999).
[11] Jang, J., An li., Chemosphere, 44, 1439 (2001).
[12] Dabrowska, H., Dabrowska, L., Biziuk, M., J. of Chromatogr., A, 1003, 29 (2003).
[15] Dyer, A. and  Faghihian,  H.,  Microporous  and Mesoporous Materials,21, 27, (1998).
[16] Takahashi, F. H. and Yang, R. T. Yang, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 41, 2487 (2002).