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Reference type: Journal
Authors: Pichon V
Article Title: Environmental sample treatment: Evolution and perspectives.
Publication date: 1997
Journal: Analusis
Volume: 25
Page numbers: 101-106.

Abstract: Most environmental samples cannot be directly analysed without a previous sample pre-treatment because of the required low concentration levels and the complexity of the matrices which we have to deal with (waters, soils, sediments, sludge, etc.). This sample pre-treatment has to be simple, fast, cost-effective, easy for automation in order to Limit the risk of losses and of contamination and to gain in reproducibility. During a longtime, many sample pre- treatment methods such as liquid-liquid extraction for water samples or Soxhlet extraction for soils and sediments have been used with the drawback of using large amounts of organic solvents. Due to more and more drastic environmental regulations, Liquid-Liquid extraction is now replaced by solid-phase extraction which is furthermore an efficient technique, considering the variety of commercially available sorbents. Nowadays, new solid-phase extraction sorbents are being developed such as molecularly imprinted polymers or immunosorbents which are used to selectively extract the target analytes. Derived from solid-phase extraction, the solid-phase microextraction (SPME) allows also to obtain very interesting results. For solid matrices, recent techniques allow to minimise the use of organic solvents and can be easily automated to gain time and reproducibility. For instance, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is an all but solvent-free technique and other techniques, which consume far less organic solvent, can have their efficiency ensured and increased by the use of microwaves (MASE), ultrasound or high temperatures and pressures in order to keep the solvent in its liquid state (ASE)

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