A microwave-assisted extraction method for the determination of 15 alkyl, aryl, and halogenated phenols in sewage sludge and biosolids samples was developed and optimized. The effects of solvent, temperature, time, moisture content, acid, and number of extractions on the recovery of phenols were evaluated. Results indicated that extraction solvent had the greatest impact on the recovery of all phenols while pH had the largest effect on recovery of hexachlorophene and pentachlorophenol. Wet sludge samples were extracted with acetone-hexane mixture in the presence of glacial acetic acid. The extract was evaporated, acetylated by acetic anhydride and cleaned up by silica gel. For dry sludge samples, an optional procedure for the simultaneous extraction and acetylation of phenols was also proposed. Triclosan (TCS) and the alkyl and aryl phenols in sludge extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in electron-impact mode while polyhalogenated phenols were analyzed by GC-MS in negative ion chemical ionization mode. Method detection limits were ca. 200 ng/g for nonylphenol, <25 ng/g for TCS and other alkyl and aryl phenols, and <5 ng/g for other halogenated phenols. This method has been applied to the determination of phenolic compounds in over 150 sludge and biosolids samples since 2009.
- bisphenol A
- microwave-assisted extraction
- sewage sludge
- First received 28 January 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 9 July 2016.
- © Environment and Climate Change Canada 2016