4-Nonylphenols (4-NPs) are known endocrine disruptors and by-products of the microbial degradation of nonylphenol polyethoxylate surfactants. One of the challenges to understanding the toxic effects of nonylphenols is the large number of isomers that may exist in environmental samples. In order to attribute toxic effects to specific compounds, a method is needed for the separation and quantitation of individual nonylphenol isomers. The pre-concentration methods of solvent sublimation, solid-phase extraction or liquid–liquid extraction prior to chromatographic analysis can be problematic because of co-extraction of thousands of compounds typically found in complex matrices such as municipal wastewater or landfill leachate. In the present study, steam distillation extraction (SDE) was found to be an effective pre-concentration method for extraction of 4-NPs from leachate and wastewater, and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) coupled with fast mass spectral data acquisition by time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ToFMS) enhanced the resolution and identification of 4-NP isomers. Concentrations of eight 4-NP isomers were determined in leachate from landfill cells of different age and wastewater influent and effluent samples. 4-NP isomers were about 3 times more abundant in leachate from the younger cell than the older one, whereas concentrations in wastewater effluent were either below detection limits or <1% of influent concentrations. 4-NP isomer distribution patterns were found to have been altered following release to the environment. This is believed to reflect isomer-specific degradation and accumulation of 4-NPs in the aquatic environment.
|Title||Determination of nonylphenol isomers in landfill leachate and municipal wastewater using steam distillation extraction coupled with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry|
|Authors||Caixiang Zhang, Robert P. Eganhouse, James Pontolillo, Isabelle M. Cozzarelli, Yanxin Wang|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Chromatography A|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||National Research Program - Eastern Branch|