ABSTRACT The polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs) are components of wood-preserving waste (WPW) which is known to contain multiple classes of organic and inorganic compounds. Identification and quantitation of individual PNAs and classes of PNAs is a preliminary step in assessing both the health risk associated with WPW as well as remediation efficacy. Ag+ from AgNO3 interacts with the conjugated pi electrons of PNAs, allowing for a chromatographic separation based on differing degrees of conjugation. In this study, a high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) chromatographic system comprised of a 0.5 meter, high-bore AgNO3/silica-packed column (in-house) and a Waters 600 HPLC system was used in tandem with a tunable (200-800 nm) photodiode-array detector (Waters 996) to offer a comprehensive instrumental package capable of separating PNAs by degree of aromaticity and identifying and quantifying individual components. The system was used to separate and quantify 115 individual PNAs from a complex WPW-extract. Sub-fractions collected were rich in 2-ring, 3-ring, 4-ring, 5-ring, and >5-ring PNA components. Fractionated sample material may facilitate testing in a range of biological systems to determine potential interaction of PNAs by class and establish the contribution of each to the toxicity of the whole. Additionally, the data may allow for a more comprehensive risk assessment based on constituent PNAs. While the first separation was very tedious, later separations can be tailored to collect specific subfractions of interest.
This research was funded by NIEHS grant P42-ES04917.
KEYWORDS: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, HPLC, separation, detection
This paper is from the Proceedings of the HSRC/WERC Joint Conference on the Environment, May 1996, published in hard copy and on the Web by the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center.
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