- The applicability of Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE) to extract lipid biomarkers from soils
- Applied Geochemistry
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 6
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
We investigated the ability of accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) to extract selected lipid biomarkers (C-19=C-34 n-alkanes, n-alcohols and n-fatty acids as well as dehydroabietic acid and P-sitosterol) from a sandy soil profile under Corsican pine. Two organic layers (moss and F1) as well as two mineral soil horizons (EA and Cl) were sampled and extracted with DCM/MeOH (93:7 v/v) by ASE at 75 degrees C and a pressure of 6.9 x 10(6) Pa or 17 x 10(6) Pa. Soxhlet extractions were used as the established reference method. After clean-up and derivatization with BSTFA, the extracts were analyzed on GC/MS.
Using Soxhlet as a reference, we found ASE to extract all compounds adequately. The n-alkanes, especially, were found to be extracted very efficiently from all horizons studied. Only the n-fatty acids and P-sitosterol from the organic layers seemed to be extracted at a slightly lower efficiency by ASE. In all but two instances the relative abundance of extracted lipids within a component class was the same regardless of the extraction method used.
Using a higher pressure in the ASE extractions significantly increased the extraction efficiency for all component classes in the moss layer, except P-sitosterol. The effect was most pronounced for the n-alkanes. In the EA horizon, a higher pressure slightly reduced the extraction efficiency for dehydroabietic acid. The observed differences between ASE and Soxhlet extractions as well as the pressure effect can be explained by a decrease in polarity of the extractant due to the elevated pressure and temperature applied during ASE extractions as compared to Soxhlet extractions. This would mainly increase the extraction efficiency of the least polar biomarkers: the n-alkanes as was observed. In addition, a better penetration of still partially water-filled micro pores under elevated pressure and temperature may have played a role.
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