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An automated HPLC method for the fractionation of polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in fish tissue on a porous graphitic carbon column

January 1, 1997

The Ah (aryl-hydrocarbon) hydroxylase-receptor active polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were fractionated by an automated high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system using the Hypercarb™ porous graphitic carbon (PGC) column. This commercially available column was used to fractionate the di-, mono-, and non-ortho PCBs into three fractions for gas chromatography (GC)/electron capture detection analysis, and a fourth fraction containing the PCDDs/PCDFs for GC/mass spectrometry analysis. The recoveries of the PCBs ranged from 68 to 96%, and recoveries of the PCDDs/PCDFs ranged from 74 to 123%. The PGC column has the advantage of faster separations (110 min versus 446 min) and less solvent use (275 ml versus 1,100 ml) compared with automated fractionation of these compounds on activated carbon (PX-21), while still affording good separation of the classes. The PGC column may have an advantage over the pyrenyl-based HPLC method because it has a greater loading capacity (400 μg total PCBs versus 250 μg). Overall, the PGC is a standard column that provides reproducible fractionation of PCDD/PCDFs and PCBs for analytical measurement in environmental samples.