Special HPLC and GC columns for PAH analysis

Unmatched sensitivity and resolution for PAH analysis in a variety of sample matrices.

Given that PAHs have unlimited origins and are probably carcinogenic, many government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the European Union Scientific Committee on Food have proposed or commissioned exposure limits; therefore, analytical methods including HPLC for monitoring PAHs are being improved.

    • High retention, excellent recovery and excellent reproducibility


    • High sorbent robustness / excellent flow properties


    • Compatibility with most organic solvents and aqueous solutions pH 0 to 14


    • Improved detection limits with reduced sorbent volume


    • No residual silanol groups that can impair the recovery of basic compounds


All SampliQ polymer phases have different mixed-mode behavior, so you can develop simple generic methods, even if your target analytes vary between acids, bases and neutrals.

Typical PAH structures

The wide range of PAH sample matrices (air, water, soil and food) and the large number of PAHs (over 100 compounds) require different analysis techniques. HPLC methods are useful for PAH analysis because UV and fluorescence detection provides improved selectivity by UV and fluorescence spectra over other techniques such as GC with flame ionization detection. Fortunately, many PAH-HPLC methods can be developed with Agilent Technologies Eclipse PAK Pillars due to the numerous column dimensions and the excellent scalability, reproducibility and durability. The most dominant example of PAH was the 16, which was separated in the EPA 610 method. However, for food and environmental analysis, it may be necessary to separate both subsets of this set and additional PAHs. Eclipse PAK columns quickly separate all 16 PAHs in the EPA Method 610 with high resolution and demonstrably dissolve up to 24 PAHs in a single analysis.

Separation of 24 PAK connections - according to the conditions of the Quebec Ministry of the Environment

The Eclipse PAK the column is a polymer-bound C18 column - a column-type bond is required for the separation of the geometric isomers in many PAH samples and provides critical selectivity for other separations such as carotenoids, steroids and PCBs.

Eclipse PAK columns are available in particle sizes of 1.8, 3.5 and 5 µm for the optimal column for your LC or LC/MS instrument. The Rapid Resolution HT (RRHT) 1.8 µm columns offer the fastest analysis times and the highest resolution and support high-pressure use with the new Rapid Resolution LC (RRLC). The columns with fast resolution of 3.5 or 5 µm are an ideal choice for standard instruments or only with UV and fluorescence detectors.

Thanks to Agilent technologies, GC solutions for PAH analysis are now also available Ultra Inert GC technology, which uses new testing methods to more effectively evaluate the inertial performance of the GC column. This new test method deliberately uses aggressive probes such as 1-propionic acid, 4-picoline and trimethyl phosphate to check the inertia performance of each column.

Separation of 16 PAK connections - use of a 30 m DB-5 ms Ultra inert GC column

Trace and ultra-trace analyses of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are possible with the J&W DB-5 MS Ultra Inert Column with electron impact single quadrupole scanning mass spectrometry. In these difficult separations, PAHs tend to adsorb at active sites or cold sites within a particular chromatography system, which can lead to false negative analysis results. Ultra Inert GC Capillary columns whose inertial performance has been verified mean that column activity as a potential source of outcome uncertainty has been all but eliminated.


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