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Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in freshwater mussels using simultaneous ultrasonic probe-assisted solvent extraction and sorbent clean-up followed by GC–MS analysis

Milan Laurenčík, Peter Tölgyessy, and Michal Kirchner

Slovak National Water Reference Laboratory, Water Research Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia



Received: 12 January 2023  Accepted: 13 March 2023


A simple, fast, non-laborious and environment friendly method is presented to determine seven priority (according to EU Water Framework Directive, WFD) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in mussels employing simultaneous focused ultrasound solid–liquid extraction (FUSLE) and dispersive solid-phase extraction (dSPE) clean-up followed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Sample preparation is miniaturized for the analysis of 100 mg freeze-dried samples and associated with low consumption of chemicals and little waste generation. The entire method successfully passed the validation process for target PAHs, achieving sufficient linearity in the range of 2.5–250 ng g–1 dry weight (dw), good accuracy (trueness: 96–111%, precision: 1.3–9.5% RSD), satisfactory measurement uncertainty (7–37%) and limits of quantification (LOQs: 0.76–2.4 ng g–1 dw or 0.11–0.34 ng g–1 wet weight) meeting WFD requirements for determination of fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene in biota. The applicability of the method was confirmed by the analysis of standard reference material and real samples, and it was shown that the method is suitable for environmental monitoring or food control.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Mussels; Focused ultrasound solid–liquid extraction; Dispersive solid-phase extraction; Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-02789-1


Chemical Papers 77 (8) 4387–4397 (2023)

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