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Improved Monitoring of Aqueous Samples by the Concentration of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients using Ionic-Liquid-based Systems

Almeida, H.F.D.; Freire, M.G.; Marrucho, I.M.

Green Chemistry: An International Journal and Green Chemistry Resource: Gc 19(19): 4651-4659

2017


ISSN/ISBN: 1463-9262
PMID: 30271271
DOI: 10.1039/c7gc01954h
Accession: 065813920

Fluoroquinolones (FQs) and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are two classes of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), widespreadly used in human healthcare and as veterinary drugs, and that have been found throughout the water cycle in the past years. These two classes of APIs are commonly present in aqueous streams in concentrations ranging from ng.L-1 to µg.L-1. Despite such low concentrations, these contaminants tend to bioaccumulate, leading to serious environmental and health issues after chronic exposure. The low concentrations of FQs and NSAIDs in aqueous media also render their difficult identification and quantification, wich may result in an unefficient evaluation of their environmental impact and persistence. Therefore, the development of alternative pre-treatment techniques for their extraction and concentration from aqueous samples is a crucial requirement. In this work, liquid-liquid systems, namely ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems (IL-based ABS), were tested as simultaneous extraction and concentration platforms of FQs and NSAIDs. ABS composed of imidazolium-, ammonium- and phosphonium-based ILs and a citrate-based salt (C6H5K3O7) were evaluated for the single-step extraction and concentration of three FQs (ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin and norfloxacin) and three NSAIDs (diclofenac, naproxen and ketoprofen) from aqueous samples. Outstanding one-step extraction efficiencies of APIs close to 100% were obtained. Furthermore, concentration factors of both FQs and NSAIDs were optimized by an appropriate manipulation of the phase-forming components compositions to tailor the volumes of the coexisting phases. Concentration factors of 1000-fold of both FQS and NSAIDs were obtained in a single-step, without reaching the saturation of the IL-rich phase. The concentration of APIs up to the mg.L-1 allowed their easy and straightforward identification and quantification by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled to an UV detector, as shown either with model aqueous samples or real wastewater effluent samples.

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