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Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)
What is Solid Phase Extraction?
Solid Phase Extraction is used in the chemical analysis of fluid samples by removing unwanted constituents and keeping only the analytes of interest. It is a crucial sample preparation step for liquid and gas chromatography. Typical applications include the analysis of pesticide and various pollutants in water, drug in food and blood, as well as oil and grease in environmental samples.
Solid Phase Extraction===❯
The working principle behind SPE is the adsoprtion of analytes to the solid phase (sorbent material in SPE cartridge), thus removing them from the original liquid phase (sample fluid). The type of SPE cartridge has to be selected based on the chemical and physical properties of the analytes. Refer to our columns/cartridges section for more information.
How is SPE performed?
A basic SPE method involves:
- Conditioning the cartridge using a solvent, which wets or activates the sorbent material
- Equilibration of the sorbent material using a solution similar to the sample in terms of solvent strength and pH
- Loading of sample at a controlled flow rate
- Washing/rinsing of loaded sample with water or other solvents to remove unwanted constituents
- Eluting with a solvent to collect the analytes of interest
Solid phase extraction is a time consuming procedure that requires careful and controlled handling. Performing SPE on large sample batches can be strenuous and prone to human error. In fact, majority of the time spent and errors during chemical analysis come from sample preparation. PromoChrom's automated SPE equipment can alleviate this problem by executing the steps unattended and with high repeatability and reproducibility. The open design makes it easy to place samples, solvents, cartridges and collection vials. Once that is done, all the user has to do is input the desired SPE steps and hit start. The simple interface allows users to choose which sample and solvent to use, as well as the flow rate and volume. Some of our automated SPE also come with online evaporation (heating + N2 blowing) and derivatization capabilities. To see all features, take a look at our automated offline SPE and automated online SPE pages.
Why are PromoChrom's Automated SPEs much smaller, more robust and versatile?
Our uniquely engineered valves are highly scalable, allowing our automated SPE equipment to handle many samples while keeping the footprint small. Typical multi-channel SPE instruments use several valve modules as shown below. Each channel requires one set of these modules. Due to the complexity, a multi-channel SPE is heavy (~50kg) and it is difficult to increase the number of channels. Very few systems can have more than 6 channels.
PromoChrom's SPE-03 has 8 channels and only weighs 12kg by using only 2-3 valves to support multiple channels. When necessary, the patented design can accomodate up to 24 channels without having to add extra valves. This also gives SPE-03 the room to do online evaporation. The 40-sample SPE-04 Plus uses 1 valve and a rotating tray.