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Methodologies for the Extraction of Phenolic Compounds from Environmental Samples: New Approaches

Author(s): Cristina Mahugo Santana | Zoraida Sosa Ferrera | M. Esther Torres Padrón | José Juan Santana Rodríguez

Journal: Molecules
ISSN 1420-3049

Volume: 14;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 298;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Phenolic compounds | Solid-phase extraction | Solid-phase microextraction | Microwave assisted extraction | Micellar medium

Phenolic derivatives are among the most important contaminants present in the environment. These compounds are used in several industrial processes to manufacture chemicals such as pesticides, explosives, drugs and dyes. They also are used in the bleaching process of paper manufacturing. Apart from these sources, phenolic compounds have substantial applications in agriculture as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. However, phenolic compounds are not only generated by human activity, but they are also formed naturally, e.g., during the decomposition of leaves or wood. As a result of these applications, they are found in soils and sediments and this often leads to wastewater and ground water contamination. Owing to their high toxicity and persistence in the environment, both, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Union have included some of them in their lists of priority pollutants. Current standard methods of phenolic compounds analysis in water samples are based on liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) while Soxhlet extraction is the most used technique for isolating phenols from solid matrices. However, these techniques require extensive cleanup procedures that are time-intensive and involve expensive and hazardous organic solvents, which are undesirable for health and disposal reasons. In the last years, the use of news methodologies such as solid-phase extraction (SPE) and solid-phase microextraction (SPME) have increased for the extraction of phenolic compounds from liquid samples. In the case of solid samples, microwave assisted extraction (MAE) is demonstrated to be an efficient technique for the extraction of these compounds. In this work we review the developed methods in the extraction and determination of phenolic derivatives in different types of environmental matrices such as water, sediments and soils. Moreover, we present the new approach in the use of micellar media coupled with SPME process for the extraction of phenolic compounds. The advantages of micellar media over conventional extractants are reduction of organic solvent, low cost, easy handling and shorter time procedures.
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