Downscaling of Standard Norms for Microwave-Assisted Extraction Methods

Industrial standard norms like ASTM and EPA methods follow well-defined operation conditions for given volumes. With modern compact microwave reactors the initially defined extraction volumes cannot be fulfilled. Downscaling of the extraction mixtures nevertheless leads to identical recoveries of the analytes with state-of-the-art instrumentation.


Most of the standard norms derive from a period where only oven-type microwave instruments with large vessels (up to 100 mL) have been available. Meanwhile compact microwave reactors utilizing small vials are commonly used. As long as norms have not been adapted scientists hardly employ the easier to handle reactors for sample processing being afraid their results would not match the norm.

Herein we prove on a model application for the extraction of soils that there is no difference in the outcome when applying a small-size monomode reactor instead the intended large-scale multimode instrument. Sample weight can be kept while solvent amount can be reduced without affecting the analytical results.

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