Optimization of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) of dioxin-furans and dioxin-like PCBs from environmental samples

Pedro Antunes, Paula Viana, Tereza Vinhas, J. L. Capelo, J. Rivera, Elvira M. S. M. Gaspar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) applying three extraction cycles, temperature and pressure, improved the efficiency of solvent extraction when compared with the classical Soxhlet extraction. Polychlorinated-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like PCBs (coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (Co-PCBs)) in two Certified Reference Materials [DX-1 (sediment) and BCR 529 (soil)] and in two contaminated environmental samples (sediment and soil) were extracted by ASE and Soxhlet methods. Unlike data previously reported by other authors, results demonstrated that ASE using n-hexane as solvent and three extraction cycles, 12.4 MPa (1800 psi) and 150 °C achieves similar recovery results than the classical Soxhlet extraction for PCDFs and Co-PCBs, and better recovery results for PCDDs. ASE extraction, performed in less time and with less solvent proved to be, under optimized conditions, an excellent extraction technique for the simultaneous analysis of PCDD/PCDFs and Co-PCBs from environmental samples. Such fast analytical methodology, having the best cost-efficiency ratio, will improve the control and will provide more information about the occurrence of dioxins and the levels of toxicity and thereby will contribute to increase human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-925
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2008


  • Dioxins
  • PCBs
  • PCDDs
  • PCDFs
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Pressurized liquid extraction
  • Simultaneous PLE extraction


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