Journal of Separation Science 31 (1), 143-150, 2008.

GC-MS analysis of organic compounds in wastewater and sewage sludge

Axel Patrick Ligona, Sebastian Zuehlkea and Michael Spitellera

aInstitute of Environmental Research (INFU), University of Dortmund, Otto-Hahn-Strasse 6, 44221 Dortmund, Germany

Received 31 July 2007

Revised 21 September 2007


A multimethod based on liquid-liquid extraction and solid-liquid extraction for the analysis of persistent organic pollutants in water and sludge from sewage treatment plants has been established. Traces of 22 organic compounds used in industry and personal care products (PCPs) were analyzed by GC/MS. The LODs for the analytes were less than 2.3 ng/L for wastewater and 31 g/kg (dry weight matter) for sewage sludge. Satisfactory recoveries (70-130%) were achieved. The validated method permits the analysis of water and sludge samples at various stages of the treatment from different sewage treatment plants. Thus, the distribution between water and sludge as well as the dissipation of the compounds analyzed were balanced. By this means, the efficiency of different wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can be evaluated and measures can be taken to optimize the treatment process at different stages.

Keywords: Mass spectrometry, Multimethod, Persistent organic pollutants, Wastewater treatment plants