Soil Extraction Cell
Soil Extraction Cell
An Alternate Method of Soil Extraction for Organics, EPA
Environmental Express, known for its innovative products, has developed the Soil
Extraction Cell system for the extraction of semi-volatile organic compounds in soil
samples. The Soil Extraction Cell system meets the requirements of the Performance
Based Measurement System established by the EPA and replaces microwave
technology with a HotBlock and stainless steel Soil Extraction Cells. Analytical
results of a CRM (Certified Reference Material) for PAH/BNA and TPH fell within the
required acceptance limits and were very reproducible. Real world soil samples were
also extracted using this procedure for PAH/BNA, TPH, and PCB compounds and
compared to results achieved using SW846 Method 3545A. Results were comparable
for all three groups of compounds.
HotBlock Procedure for Method 3546:
1. When practical, air dry the sample at room temperature for 48 hours in a glass tray
or on hexane-rinsed aluminum foil. Alternatively, mix the sample with an equal
volume of anhydrous sodium sulfate or diatomaceous earth until a freeflowing
powder is obtained. A percent dry weight should be performed on a separate
aliquot of sample for the percent dry weight calculation at the end of the analysis.
2. Weigh 10 - 30g of sample into the Soil Extraction Cell. May vary depending on
individual laboratory needs.
3. Add the surrogates and/or spikes listed in the determinative method to each
4. Add approximately 30mLs of solvent. (This method was validated using Methylene
Chloride. Other solvents may be used but must be validated by the individual
5. Place the stainless steel inner lid with Teflon-coated o-ring in the Soil Extraction
6. Hand-tighten the threaded outer cap onto the Soil Extraction Cell.
7. Heat the HotBlock to 130 C. This will yield an internal solvent temperature of 100
- 115 C which is recommended by EPA Method 3546.
8. Put the Soil Extraction Cells into the HotBlock and heat for 30 minutes at a block
temperature of 130 C. This will give samples 10 - 20 minutes at the appropriate
temperature for extraction which is recommended by EPA Method 3546.
9. Remove the cells and allow them to cool to room temperature.
10. Unscrew the threaded outer cap and remove. Take care in doing this step as a
pressure will develop in the Soil Extraction Cells during the heating process.
11. Take out the stainless steel inner lid and rinse with the appropriate solvent, taking
care to collect this rinsate in the cell.
12. Proceed with filtering and rinsing, collecting all filtrates. A Buchner funnel with
vacuum is recommended but any appropriate laboratory filtration device may be
13. The extract is now ready for concentration, cleanup, and analysis.
These steps should only be used as a guide. All QC samples, limitations, interferences,
and reagent specifications are addressed in depth in EPA Method 3546. Safety concerns
are also part of the full method. Follow the instructions listed in EPA Method 3546.
25-Well HotBlock (each)
35-Well HotBlock (each)
100ug/mL with CLP, 25mL
O-Terphenyl, 80ug/mL, 25mL
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