EPA Method 3541

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EPA Method 3541:
Automated Soxhlet Extraction

PCBs: Moist solid samples (e.g., soil/sediment samples) may be airdried and ground prior to extraction or chemically dried with anhydrous sodium sulfate. The prepared sample is extracted using 1:1 (v/v) acetone:hexane in the automated Soxhlet following the same procedure as outlined for semivolatile organics in Sec. 2.1. The extract is then concentrated and exchanged into pure hexane prior to final gas chromatographic PCB measurement.

Method 3541 describes the extraction of organic analytes from soil, sediment, sludges, and waste solids. The method uses a commercially available, unique, three stage extraction system to achieve analyte recovery comparable to Method 3540, but in a much shorter time. There are two differences between this extraction method and Method 3540. In the initial extraction stage of Method 3541, the sample-loaded extraction thimble is immersed into the boiling solvent. This ensures very rapid intimate contact between the specimen and solvent and rapid extraction of the organic analytes. In the second stage the thimble is elevated above the solvent, and is rinse-extracted as in Method 3540. In the third stage, the solvent is evaporated, as would occur in the Kuderna-Danish (K-D) concentration step in Method 3540. The concentrated extract is then ready for cleanup (Method 3600) followed by measurement of the organic analytes.

Report Number:
SW-846 Ch 4.2.1