A new method for simultaneous extraction and quantification of 6 nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs) and 16 parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water matrices was optimized and validated.
The extraction procedure was based on dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction technique, followed by gas chromatography-mass detection. The optimum conditions of extraction (volume of the extraction solvent, dispersive solvents and amount of salt) were selected using central composite design. The best results were found by using 200 μL of acetonitrile as dispersive solvent, 60 μL of chloroform as extraction solvent, and 10% (w/v) NaCl. Excellent linearity was observed in the range of 10–150 ng L−1 with correlation coefficients (r2) ranging between 0.9996 and 0.9999 for nitro-PAHs and in the range of 5–150 ng L−1 with r2 ranging from 0.9998 to 1.000 for PAHs. The limits of detection for the nitro-PAHs studied ranged from 0.82 to 3.37 ng L−1, whereas for PAHs ranged from 0.62 to 3.48 ng L−1. The intra- and inter-day precisions for nitro-PAHs were in the range of 0.45 to 19.54% and 0.43 to 19.62%, respectively, and for PAHs ranged between 0.45 to 17.42% and 0.38 to 18.97%, respectively. The proposed method was successfully applied in analyses of groundwater, sea, rain water and river water, being appropriate for routine analyses.