Extraction and Elution Laboratory Methodology for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Poster 171 – Click on poster below to view presentation from author.

Click on poster to view presentation from author.

Justin Caniglia

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Water Sciences Laboratory

Co-Authors: Daniel Snow, Tiffany Messer, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are an environmentally persistent contaminant detected globally in the environment and associated with a variety of human health impacts due to their carcinogenic nature. With the advancement of analytical technology, the ability to detect PFAS compounds in environmental samples at lower concentrations continues to develop. However, current scientific communication on the proper procedural methods necessary to provide accurate extraction, elution, and analysis of environmental samples is lacking. Thus, slowing down further scientific research in this sector. The aim of this study was to develop laboratory methodologies to extract, elute, and examine a total of 18 PFAS compounds from non-potable runoff water and polar organic chemically integrative samplers (POCIS) exposed to wastewater. Despite an exponential increase in recent years of literature pertaining to examining PFASs within the environment, there are currently few available protocols actively describing how to extract and elute PFASs from non-potable water and wastewater using POCIS. A major challenge in this project included PFASs being found within a variety of current laboratory equipment and chemicals leading to potential internal contamination. During the study two sample types (grab samples and POCIS) were collected during agricultural runoff events and at the inflow and outflow of a wastewater treatment plant in the Midwest. We determined equipment settings, materials, chemicals, extraction solutions, reagents, calibration standards, and procedures necessary to extract and elute PFASs to be analyzed on a Waters Xevo TQS triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The methodology is anticipated to provide a more efficient and accurate method for evaluating PFASs in the natural environment and expand the methods to a multitude of environmental matrixes.

Post comments and questions for author below.

All posts are publicly visible after review by site administrator. Students’ responses to posted questions is factored into scoring for the poster competition. Finalists announced May 25 and awards presented May 26, 2021.

3 thoughts on “Extraction and Elution Laboratory Methodology for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

  1. Hi, John! Thanks for sharing this method! I’m sorry to hear that your results were delayed. But, I was wondering if you could you tell us how you will evaluate your results? What are you looking for, that will tell you that you have developed a successful universal method?


  2. Good and important work. I’m sorry that your presentation appears all black on my screen–I hope that’s not a global problem. Understanding PFAS is incredibly important, and your work is critical to that, so keep it up. One question: PFAS is very adsorptive to many materials that we use in the laboratory; will you investigate all your lab materials for adsorption values for your PFAS compounds to ensure your calibration?


    1. Hi David, we will not directly investigate all of our laboratory materials to determine adsorption values for our PFAS compounds. That was not the focus of this study, however that would be an interesting idea to look more into once we finally are able to get this method going and get it validated and ensured.
      However, we will investigate the % recovery of all of our internal standards, surrogates, and analytes used within our quality control and quality assurance samples that help determine our statistical confidence and accuracy of our method. Once the IDL’s are determined we will be able to make our MDL’s for our samples and run those which will help us see where a problem may be occurring in our method or samples. As we may be able to see if possible matrix interference is occurring within our actual samples, the extraction and elution materials or method portion, and also within the Xevo-TQS itself as well. As PFASs are utilized in many laboratory materials, the likelihood of contamination is very probably and being able to determine where and how it is, is of utmost importance. I dived into full detail into on how we plan on doing our QC/QA in the above comment for David Wituszynski. I hope this answers your question. Thanks!


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