Development and validation of a direct injection liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the analysis of illicit drugs and psychopharmaceuticals in wastewater
Journal of Chromatography A
School of Science
Curtin University (Curtin Postgraduate Research Scholarship) - L Restrepo-Vieira / Water Corporation of Western Australia - L Restrepo-Vieira / Water Research Australia (Water Research Australia PhD Top-Up Scholarship) - L Restrepo-Vieira
A direct injection liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was successfully developed for the analysis of 19 illicit drugs and psychopharmaceuticals in raw and treated wastewater. The method includes the analysis of stimulants and opioids, and antidepressant, antipsychotic, antianxiety, appetite suppressant and hallucinogen drugs. The method limits of quantification range from 5 – 59 ng L − 1 and 2 – 38 ng L − 1 in raw and treated wastewater, respectively. Analysis of raw and treated wastewater samples collected daily for a week from a wastewater treatment plant operating with oxidation ditch technology showed that codeine and tramadol were the drugs with the highest median mass concentrations in raw wastewater (1800 and 1000 ng L − 1, respectively). The presence of some of the drugs in treated wastewater samples implies incomplete removal of illicit drugs and psychopharmaceuticals during wastewater treatment. This method offers an alternative to existing methods for faster screening of wastewater samples without the need for sample pre-concentration techniques, such as solid-phase extraction, with limits of detection in the low nanogram per litre range.
Restrepo-Vieira, L. H., Busetti, F., Linge, K. L., & Joll, C. A. (2022). Development and validation of a direct injection liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the analysis of illicit drugs and psychopharmaceuticals in wastewater. Journal of Chromatography A, 1685, Article 463562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2022.463562