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Separations, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The simple and low-cost separation of major selenium oxyanion species from the commonly encountered low concentration range (10–100 μg Se/L) in natural waters was achieved by the addition of a small quantity (0.5 g/L) of commercially available iron oxyhydroxide Bayoxide, followed by gently stirring for 30 min at pH value 7.3 ± 0.2. Bayoxide, under the aforementioned experimental conditions, can selectively adsorb the tetravalent Se form (SeO32-) and separate it quantitatively from the hexavalent form (SeO42-). In this way, the Se speciation can be easily achieved by all available analytical methods for the total Se determination, applied before and after this separation procedure. View this paper
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Article
Rapid Determination of Ethylene Oxide and 75 VOCs in Ambient Air with Canister Sampling and Associated Growth Issues
Separations 2021, 8(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030035 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1558
Abstract
A canister-based sampling method along with preconcentrator-Gas chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis was applied to ethylene oxide (EtO or EO) and 75 other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air. Ambient air can contain a large variety of VOCs, and thorough analysis requires non-discriminatory [...] Read more.
A canister-based sampling method along with preconcentrator-Gas chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis was applied to ethylene oxide (EtO or EO) and 75 other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air. Ambient air can contain a large variety of VOCs, and thorough analysis requires non-discriminatory sampling and a chromatographic method capable of resolving a complex mixture. Canister collection of whole air samples allows for the collection of a wide range of volatile compounds, while the simultaneous analysis of ethylene oxide and other VOCs allows for faster throughput than separate methods. The method presented is based on US EPA Method TO-15A and allows for the detection of EtO from 18 to 2500 pptv. The method has an average accuracy of 104% and precision of 13% relative standard deviation (RSD), with an instrument run time of 32 min. In addition, a link between canister cleanliness and ethylene oxide growth is observed, and potential mechanisms and cleaning strategies are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Separations of Complex Mixtures)
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Review
Recent Applications of Solid Phase Microextraction Coupled to Liquid Chromatography
Separations 2021, 8(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030034 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1094
Abstract
Solid phase microextraction (SPME) is one of the most popular sample preparation methods which can be applied to organic compounds allowing the simultaneous extraction and pre-concentration of analytes from the sample matrix. It is based on the partitioning of the analyte between the [...] Read more.
Solid phase microextraction (SPME) is one of the most popular sample preparation methods which can be applied to organic compounds allowing the simultaneous extraction and pre-concentration of analytes from the sample matrix. It is based on the partitioning of the analyte between the extracting phase, generally immobilized on a fiber substrate, and the matrix (water, air, etc.), and has numerous advantages such as rapidity, simplicity, low cost, ease of use and automation, and absence of toxic solvents. Fiber SPME has been widely used in combination with various analytical instrumentation even if most of the work has been done coupling the extraction technique with gas and liquid chromatography (GC and LC). This manuscript presents an overview of the recent works (from 2010 to date) of solid phase microextraction coupled to liquid chromatography (SPME-LC) relevant to analytical applications performed using commercially available fibers or lab-made fibers already developed in previous papers, and to improved instrumental systems and approaches. Full article
Review
Ion Mobility–Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalysis
Separations 2021, 8(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030033 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
This paper aims to cover the main strategies based on ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) for the analysis of biological samples. The determination of endogenous and exogenous compounds in such samples is important for the understanding of the health status of individuals. For this [...] Read more.
This paper aims to cover the main strategies based on ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) for the analysis of biological samples. The determination of endogenous and exogenous compounds in such samples is important for the understanding of the health status of individuals. For this reason, the development of new approaches that can be complementary to the ones already established (mainly based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry) is welcomed. In this regard, ion mobility spectrometry has appeared in the analytical scenario as a powerful technique for the separation and characterization of compounds based on their mobility. IMS has been used in several areas taking advantage of its orthogonality with other analytical separation techniques, such as liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, or supercritical fluid chromatography. Bioanalysis is not one of the areas where IMS has been more extensively applied. However, over the last years, the interest in using this approach for the analysis of biological samples has clearly increased. This paper introduces the reader to the principles controlling the separation in IMS and reviews recent applications using this technique in the field of bioanalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food and Biological Samples Analysis)
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Article
Adsorption Characteristics of Phosphate Ions by Pristine, CaCl2 and FeCl3-Activated Biochars Originated from Tangerine Peels
Separations 2021, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030032 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
This study has evaluated the removal efficiencies of phosphate ions (PO43−) using pristine (TB) and chemical-activated tangerine peel biochars. The adsorption kinetics and isotherm presented that the enhanced physicochemical properties of TB surface through the chemical activation with CaCl2 [...] Read more.
This study has evaluated the removal efficiencies of phosphate ions (PO43−) using pristine (TB) and chemical-activated tangerine peel biochars. The adsorption kinetics and isotherm presented that the enhanced physicochemical properties of TB surface through the chemical activation with CaCl2 (CTB) and FeCl3 (FTB) were helpful in the adsorption capacities of PO43− (equilibrium adsorption capacity: FTB (1.655 mg g−1) > CTB (0.354 mg g−1) > TB (0.104 mg g−1)). The adsorption kinetics results revealed that PO43− removal by TB, CTB, and FTB was well fitted with the pseudo-second-order model (R2 = 0.999) than the pseudo-first-order model (R2 ≥ 0.929). The adsorption isotherm models showed that the Freundlich equation was suitable for PO43− removal by TB (R2 = 0.975) and CTB (R2 = 0.955). In contrast, the Langmuir equation was proper for PO43− removal by FTB (R2 = 0.987). The PO43− removal efficiency of CTB and FTB decreased with the ionic strength increased due to the compression of the electrical double layer on the CTB and FTB surfaces. Besides, the PO43− adsorptions by TB, CTB, and FTB were spontaneous endothermic reactions. These findings demonstrated FTB was the most promising method for removing PO43− in waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water and Wastewater Purification Technologies)
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Review
Multilinear Mathematical Separation in Chromatography
Separations 2021, 8(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030031 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
Chromatography is a powerful and generally applicable method for the analytical separation and quantification of the chemical constituents in complex mixtures because chromatographic separation can provide high selectivity by isolating all analytes from interferences. Multiway analysis based on the multilinear model is an [...] Read more.
Chromatography is a powerful and generally applicable method for the analytical separation and quantification of the chemical constituents in complex mixtures because chromatographic separation can provide high selectivity by isolating all analytes from interferences. Multiway analysis based on the multilinear model is an increasingly widely used method for interference-free and fast determination of the chemical constituents also in complex mixtures because multilinear mathematical separation can provide high selectivity by extracting the pure signal of the analyte from the mixed signal of a real sample. By combining chromatographic separation with mathematical separation, multiway calibration method, multiway standard additions method, and multiway internal standard method can be established. Chromatography assisted by multiway analysis can reduce the requirements for complete chromatographic separation, save elution time, and decrease the consumption of the mobile phase, particularly when the peak coelution problem is difficult to solve. This review presents the fundamentals and analytical applications of multilinear mathematical separation in chromatography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Featured Reviews in Separation Science)
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Article
Single-Run Separation and Quantification of 14 Cannabinoids Using Capillary Electrophoresis
Separations 2021, 8(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030030 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Quantification of major cannabinoids in cannabis products is normally performed using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based methods. We propose a cost-effective alternative method that successfully separates and quantifies 14 cannabinoids in a single run using capillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled with a UV detector in [...] Read more.
Quantification of major cannabinoids in cannabis products is normally performed using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based methods. We propose a cost-effective alternative method that successfully separates and quantifies 14 cannabinoids in a single run using capillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled with a UV detector in 18 min. The separation is carried out in 60% acetonitrile in the presence of 6.5 mM sodium hydroxide and 25 µM β-cyclodextrin, resulting in good separation of cannabinoids. Our CE method demonstrated the limit of detection between 1.2–1.8 µg/mL, with the linear range reaching up to 50 µg/mL. We validated the method performance by testing a plant extract and quantifying cannabinoid content. This method is the first to separate 14 cannabinoids in one run using a CE system with UV detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends and Recent Advances in Capillary Electrophoresis)
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Article
Enantioselective Study on the Biodegradation of Verapamil and Cytalopram by Chiral Capillary Electrophoresis
Separations 2021, 8(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030029 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Many of the currently available drugs are chiral compounds that are marketed as racemates or, to a lesser extent, in the form of one of the enantiomers since a pair of enantiomers may have different toxicological and ecotoxicological properties compared to each other. [...] Read more.
Many of the currently available drugs are chiral compounds that are marketed as racemates or, to a lesser extent, in the form of one of the enantiomers since a pair of enantiomers may have different toxicological and ecotoxicological properties compared to each other. The evaluation of enantioselectivity in biodegradation processes is essential for environmental risk assessment. The objective of this research is to study the enantioselectivity in the biodegradation of two common chiral drugs, citalopram and verapamil, using highly sulphated-γ-cyclodextrin (HS-γ-CD) as chiral selector in Capillary Electrophoresis. Biodegradation experiments were performed in batch mode using a minimal salt medium inoculated with an activated sludge and supplemented with the corresponding enantiomeric mixture. The cultures were incubated at 20 °C for 28 days. Abiotic degradation of verapamil and citalopram enantiomers was also assessed. The concentration of the enantiomers of verapamil and citalopram were monitored using 0.7% and 0.1% m/v HS-γ-CD solutions as chiral selector, respectively. Separations were carried out using the complete filling technique. The results of biodegradability tests indicate that citalopram could be considered potentially persistent while verapamil is presumed to be a non-persistent compound. No evidence of enantioselectivity was observed in any of the biodegradation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enantiomeric Separations)
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Article
Determination of the Toxic and Nutrient Element Content of Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts and Pistachios by ICP-AES
Separations 2021, 8(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030028 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 989
Abstract
The trace element content of thirty-two nuts including almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios available in a Greek market was determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Wet acid digestion using nitric acid (65%) took place in Teflon autoclaves. The limits of [...] Read more.
The trace element content of thirty-two nuts including almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios available in a Greek market was determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Wet acid digestion using nitric acid (65%) took place in Teflon autoclaves. The limits of detection (LODs) and limits of quantification (LOQs) ranged between 0.01 (Mg)–2.52 (Cu) μg g−1 and 0.02 (Mg)–8.40 (Cu) μg g−1, respectively. Good method linearity (r2 > 0.9990) was observed for each element at the selected emission lines. The metals were quantified and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine whether or not there were any statistically significant differences among the metal concentrations inside the different nut species. Full article
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Article
Speciation and Determination of Selenium Oxyanions at the Drinking Water Pollution Concentration Levels
Separations 2021, 8(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030027 - 01 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
The research on selenium presence in water resources has revealed the need to determine the respective aquatic species. As selenium oxyanions SeO32− (SeIV) and SeO42− (SeVI) predominate in natural waters, their determination is essential, mainly [...] Read more.
The research on selenium presence in water resources has revealed the need to determine the respective aquatic species. As selenium oxyanions SeO32− (SeIV) and SeO42− (SeVI) predominate in natural waters, their determination is essential, mainly due to different ecotoxicity properties, as well as to different removal options from relevant-polluted waters. This study focuses on the SeO32−/SeO42− speciation/separation and determination through the selective adsorption of SeO32− only onto specific iron oxy-hydroxides (FeOOHs). For this purpose, the laboratory prepared FeOOHs examined along with the commercially available relevant material (Bayoxide), which was found to present optimum results for the speciation of selenium oxyanions, at the low concentration range 10–100 μg/L, using a dose of 0.5 g/L of adsorbent and gently stirring for 30 min at the usually encountered pH value of 7.3 ± 0.2. Moreover, the relevant experiments showed that the other major ions Cl, HCO3, NO3, SO42−, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, possibly found in most natural waters at the concentration range 0–200 mg/L, as well as silicon, total organic carbon (TOC) of natural organic matter (NOM) and iron at the concentration range 0–50 mg/L, 0–5 mg/L and 0–1 mg/L, respectively, did not interfere with the selective adsorption of Se(IV). Furthermore, the most important advantage of this selective speciation method is its implementation/combination with all commonly applied analytical methods for the determination of total selenium. Full article
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Article
Capturing Dioclea Reflexa Seed Bioactives on Halloysite Nanotubes and pH Dependent Release of Cargo against Breast (MCF-7) Cancers In Vitro
Separations 2021, 8(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030026 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 719
Abstract
In this work, optimization parameters were developed to capture plant metabolites from Dioclea Reflexa (DR) seed ex-tracts onto halloysites nanotubes (HNTs). A one-step pool of the crude extracts at neutral pH from the HNT lumen failed to elicit a reduction in breast cancer, [...] Read more.
In this work, optimization parameters were developed to capture plant metabolites from Dioclea Reflexa (DR) seed ex-tracts onto halloysites nanotubes (HNTs). A one-step pool of the crude extracts at neutral pH from the HNT lumen failed to elicit a reduction in breast cancer, Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7) cell viability. However, the pH-dependent elution of metabolites revealed that the acidic pH samples exhibited profound antiproliferative effects on the cancer cells compared to the basic pH metabolites using both trypan blue dye exclusion assay and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) viability test. pH~5.2 samples demonstrated by half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.8 mg and a cyclic voltammetry oxidation peak potential and current of 234 mV and 0.45 µA, respectively. This indicates that the cancer cells death could be attributed to membrane polarization/depolarization effects of the sample. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) studies confirmed that the plant metabolites affected breast cancer apoptotic signaling pathways of cell death. The studies proved that plant metabolites could be captured using simplified screening procedures for rapid drug discovery purposes. Such procedures, however, would require the integration of affordable analytical tools to test and isolate individual metabolites. Our approach could be an important strategy to create a library and database of bioactive plant metabolites based on pH values. Full article
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Article
Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity of CuWO4 Doped TiO2 Photocatalyst Towards Carbamazepine Removal under UV Irradiation
Separations 2021, 8(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030025 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Abatement of contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs) in water sources has been widely studied employing TiO2 based heterogeneous photocatalysis. However, low quantum energy yield among other limitations of titania has led to its modification with other semiconductor materials for improved photocatalytic activity. [...] Read more.
Abatement of contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs) in water sources has been widely studied employing TiO2 based heterogeneous photocatalysis. However, low quantum energy yield among other limitations of titania has led to its modification with other semiconductor materials for improved photocatalytic activity. In this work, a 0.05 wt.% CuWO4 over TiO2 was prepared as a powder composite. Each component part synthesized via the sol-gel method for TiO2, and CuWO4 by co-precipitation assisted hydrothermal method from precursor salts, underwent gentle mechanical agitation. Homogenization of the nanopowder precursors was performed by zirconia ball milling for 2 h. The final material was obtained after annealing at 500 °C for 3.5 h. Structural and morphological characterization of the synthesized material has been achieved employing X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) N2 adsorption–desorption analysis, Scanning electron microscopy-coupled Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-vis DRS) for optical characterization. The 0.05 wt.% CuWO4-TiO2 catalyst was investigated for its photocatalytic activity over carbamazepine (CBZ), achieving a degradation of almost 100% after 2 h irradiation. A comparison with pure TiO2 prepared under those same conditions was made. The effect of pH, chemical scavengers, H2O2 as well as contaminant ion effects (anions, cations), and humic acid (HA) was investigated, and their related influences on the photocatalyst efficiency towards CBZ degradation highlighted accordingly. Full article
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Article
Immobilized TiO2/ZnO Sensitized Copper (II) Phthalocyanine Heterostructure for the Degradation of Ibuprofen under UV Irradiation
Separations 2021, 8(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030024 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Photocatalytic coatings of TiO2/ZnO/CuPc were developed on stainless steel substrates by subsequent sol gel dip coating for TiO2, spray pyrolysis for ZnO, and spin coating for copper (ii) phthalocyanine (CuPc) deposition. The latter compound was successfully prepared using a [...] Read more.
Photocatalytic coatings of TiO2/ZnO/CuPc were developed on stainless steel substrates by subsequent sol gel dip coating for TiO2, spray pyrolysis for ZnO, and spin coating for copper (ii) phthalocyanine (CuPc) deposition. The latter compound was successfully prepared using a Schiff-based process. The materials and coatings developed were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy with attached energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), UV-Vis spectroscopy, room temperature photoluminescence (RTPL) spectroscopy, H1-nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy, C13-nuclear magnetic resonance (13C-NMR) spectroscopy, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). The as-deposited TiO2/ZnO/CuPc on stainless steel retained in pristine state the structural and morphological/spectroscopic characteristics of its respective components. Estimated energy band gap values were 3.22 eV, 3.19 eV, 3.19 eV for TiO2, ZnO, TiO2/ZnO respectively and 1.60 eV, 2.44 eV, and 2.92 eV for CuPc. The photocatalytic efficiency of the fabricated TiO2/ZnO/CuPc coatings was tested toward ibuprofen (IBF). After 4 h irradiation under 365 nm UV, an increased degradation of about 80% was achieved over an initial 5 mg/L ibuprofen (IBF). This was much higher compared to about 42% and 18% IBF degradation by TiO2/ZnO and TiO2 thin film, respectively. In all cases, the stability of the best-performing photocatalyst was investigated showing a small decline to 77% of IBF degradation after the 5th cycle run. The effect of pH, reactive oxygen species (ROS) probe, shed light on a possible catalytic mechanism that was suggested. Full article
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Article
Statistical Models of the Distribution of Chemical Elements in Precambrian Rocks of the Siberian Craton
Separations 2021, 8(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8030023 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Natural chemical systems are an excellent object for studying the properties of various elements. The most diverse and informative geological complexes are crystalline rocks of the Precambrian. These rocks are exposed near the northern and southern margins of the Siberian craton. The chemical [...] Read more.
Natural chemical systems are an excellent object for studying the properties of various elements. The most diverse and informative geological complexes are crystalline rocks of the Precambrian. These rocks are exposed near the northern and southern margins of the Siberian craton. The chemical composition of rocks, the contents of impurity elements, and metals were studied by us using chemical and spectral analysis methods. Microprobe studies were performed. Using regression and multivariate statistical methods of analysis, the regularities of the distribution of chemical elements were found. It is shown that the distribution of precious metals and carbon dioxide in rocks is attributed to their chemical properties and comparable with close in-chemical properties’ rock-forming elements. It is found that the factor analysis reflects the uniform regularities of the distribution of elements in different regions and rocks. These regularities are similar on macro and micro levels. Comparison of the distribution patterns with the results of geochemical and petrological studies of other authors shows the leading role of the redox potential and acidity of the environment in the formation of rocks and minerals. The role of mathematical statistics for solving problems of chemical petrology and chemical systems analysis is underlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Green Analytical Chemistry)
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