Extraction of alcohols from gasoline using solid phase microextraction (SPME)
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Solid phase microextraction is a recent technique, invented by Pawliszyn in 1989, and available commercially since 1994. A fiber is used to extract small amounts (ppm, ppb, ppt) of analytes from a solution, usually water. The fiber is beneficial in concentrating analytes. Most work using SPME has been done with hydrophobic (non polar) analytes, extracted using a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS; non polar) coating on a fused silica fiber. Since very little work has been done with polar analytes, the novel approach of this work is the extraction of EtOH.
Since EtOH is the analyte of interest, a polar fiber, carboxen/polydimethyl siloxane (Car/PDMS) is used. Two methods are used for quantification of EtOH in gasoline: the method of a standard calibration curve, and the method of standard addition. They are both successful in quantifying the amount of EtOH in gasoline. The relative errors, with the method of standard addition, vary from 5.3% to 14%, while the ones with the method of calibration curve vary from 1.6% to 7.2%. Moreover, some extraction time studies for both direct and headspace sampling are performed. Direct sampling shows the presence of an equilibrium condition for the carboxen/PDMS fiber, for which no extraction theory is available. Conversely, headspace sampling shows no equilibrium state; after a sampling time of one hour, the amount of EtOH extracted decreases with sampling time. This is probably due to displacement of EtOH by other compounds in the fiber.
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