AppNote 245: Automated Solid Phase Extraction of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products from Water Samples using a Novel Robotic Autosampler


Advances in pharmaceutical drug therapies have improved the overall health of the world’s population. However, with the global population increasing, the use of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) is expected to increase as well. The combination of increasing global population size and the increasing potential of droughts may result in reduced water availability and the need for water reuse. This, in turn, will lead to increasing concentrations of these emerging contaminants into the water system. Therefore, there is increased focus on PPCP concentration levels in drinking water.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) method 542 was created to monitor drinking water samples for the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products using LC-MS/ MS [1]. The method requires an extraction volume of one liter of water to meet the parts per trillion (ng/L) reporting limits for the compounds monitored. The large sample volume as well as the requirement to present the subsequent rinsate of the sample bottles to the SPE cartridge, has historically made this method a tedious, manual procedure. Using the LCTech FREESTYLE XANA* sampler, the entire solid phase extraction procedure is automated, providing critically needed high throughput extraction for PPCP compounds in water samples. The resulting extracts are then introduced into an LC-MS/MS system such as the Agilent Ultivo LC- MS/MS instrument for detection and quantification.