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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 162465, 9 pages
Research Article

Dispersive Liquid-Liquid Microextraction Combined with Ultrahigh Performance Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Determination of Organophosphate Esters in Aqueous Samples

1Guangzhou Quality Supervision and Testing Institute, Guangzhou 510110, China
2School of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510110, China
3Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China

Received 22 August 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editors: J. Cheng and M. A. Strege

Copyright © 2014 Haiying Luo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A new technique was established to identify eight organophosphate esters (OPEs) in this work. It utilised dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction in combination with ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The type and volume of extraction solvents, dispersion agent, and amount of NaCl were optimized. The target analytes were detected in the range of 1.0–200 µg/L with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.9982 to 0.9998, and the detection limits of the analytes were ranged from 0.02 to 0.07 µg/L . The feasibility of this method was demonstrated by identifying OPEs in aqueous samples that exhibited spiked recoveries, which ranged between 48.7% and 58.3% for triethyl phosphate (TEP) as well as between 85.9% and 113% for the other OPEs. The precision was ranged from 3.2% to 9.3% ( ), and the interprecision was ranged from 2.6% to 12.3% ( ). Only 2 of the 12 selected samples were tested to be positive for OPEs, and the total concentrations of OPEs in them were 1.1 and 1.6 µg/L, respectively. This method was confirmed to be simple, fast, and accurate for identifying OPEs in aqueous samples.