SUNNYVALE, CA - Dionex has announced a new method that extends the usefulness of electrochemical detection (ECD) to polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds that do not respond to ECD using typical carbon-based electrodes. Application Note 265: Quantification of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons with a Boron-Doped Diamond Electrode uses the Coulochem® III detector and gradient high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode to detect and quantify aromatic, genotoxic compounds down to tens of pg on column.

The BDD working electrode, with its ability to be used at high potentials, extends the range of compounds that can be measured electrochemically. By generating reactive oxygen species, and with gradient elution conditions, compounds like PAHs can be modified in situ by hydroxylation reactions, thereby rendering the compounds electrochemically active. This method shows good linearity, reproducibility and sensitivity (~20 pg on column). Use of the Coulochem III detector, the BDD electrode and the chemistry demonstrated in this method allows for quantitative results for aromatic compounds that cannot be analyzed using conventional HPLC-ECD approaches.

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