Techniques > HPTLC and TLC > Environmental
Environmental analysis can involve testing of drinking water, soil analysis for crop research as well as pesticide residue analysis. With routine screening of large numbers of samples for possible changes, contaminants or pollutants required. HPTLC offers a low limit of detection, multiple samples can be analysed in tandem, with minimal sample preparation as we well as the added advantage of being able to see the the full sample profile on the plate. Multiple detection methods can be carried out on the same plate after development so it can be viewed at different wavelengths before being derivatised, if necessary,and then viewed again. After this is completed any substance of interest could then be extracted from the plate using the TLC-MS Interface to provide further confirmation or structural information. Another useful feature of HPTLC for environmental analysis is the ability to be able to perform a limit test quickly and easily in order to identify if substances in the samples are within safe and legal limits.
Example case study from CAMAG - Determination of monoacylglycerides in biodiesel
This case study 'Determination of monoacylglycerides in biodiesel' shows the separation and quantification of impurities in Biodiesel. Here, HPTLC offers an excellent alternative to other techniques, because no extensive sample preparation is needed for samples with heavily loaded matrix and the results of several samples and standards can be achieved inexpensively in a short time.
The concentration of monoacylglycerides in biodiesel is set at a maximum level of 0.8 wt% by the European standard UNE EN 14214:2013. Larger contents can cause obstruction in fuel filters. The same method is also suited for in-process control during biodiesel production. A total fatty acid methyl ester content lower than 98 wt% indicates inappropriate reaction conditions during the production process and correlates with the presence of impurities in the final product.