Land application of sludge as fertilizers is a way of disposal and recycling of sludge. However, public concern has arisen due to the fact that organic contaminants in sludge may ultimately enter the food chain. Hence the need arises to analyse the organic contaminants such as PAHs and OCPs in sludge. In this study, Soxhlet was utilised as the extraction method and the extracts subjected to extensive cleanup via either silica columns or solid phase extraction cartridges prior to analysis using gas chromatography or high performance liquid chromatography. Sludge samples were collected from the drying beds of oxidation ponds in three locations in South Johore. OCPs such as heptachlor, dieldrin and pp-DDT were detected in low amounts (52-159 mg/kg) whereas PAHs such as naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene and benzo(a)pyrene were detected in the range of 0.2-5.5 mg/kg dry mass. Subcritical water extraction (SWE) recovery studies of PAHs were also performed from spiked sludge samples. Although a recovery range of 41-68% was obtained using the SWE method, the results indicated the usefulness of the technique as an alternative to Soxhlet extraction for the analysis of PAHs in sludge samples.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.