Direct analysis of aromatic pollutants using a HPLC-FLD/DAD method for monitoring biodegradation processes

Aydin, Dilan Camille; Zamudio Pineres, Julian; Al-Manji, Fatma; Rijnaarts, Huub; Grotenhuis, Tim


Industrial discharges resulting in contaminated groundwater is a global environmental problem. For such contaminated groundwater cases, bioremediation is a cost efficient and environmentally friendly approach. The determination and quantification of these pollutants has gained great importance and researchers are currently seeking to develop labor extensive, accurate and reliable methods for evaluating their biodegradation process. In this study, a HPLC method was developed and optimized for the quantification of 11 industrial pollutants studied as two different mixtures: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, o, m/p-xylene, indane, indene, and naphthalene (mixture A) and benzene, monochlorobenzene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, and 1,4-dichlorobenzene (mixture B). The method uses two different detectors: fluorescence detection and diode array. The fluorescence detector was used for mixture A to achieve lower quantification limits and to quantify separately o-xylene and indene due to them showing similar wavelength behaviors. The limit of detection was found to be between 2 and 70 μg L-1 for mixture A and 290 μg L-1 for mixture B. The limit of quantitation was between 6 and 210 μg L-1 for mixture A and 980 μg L-1 for mixture B, respectively. The novel part of this study is that aqueous samples can be directly measured with one-step sample preparation and it comes with other advantages such as low volumes of sampling from batch bottles and also avoidance of high cost, relative to other analytical techniques. Therefore, this analytical method aims to facilitate the quantification of various aromatic hydrocarbons in laboratory batch samples and can be used as a routine monitoring tool for biological degradation processes of these 11 prevalent contaminants. This journal is