Solid phase microextraction (SPME) has been coupled with liquid chromatography to widen its range of application
to nonvolatile and thermally unstable compounds, generally limited for SPME-GC. A method for analysis of
nitroaromatic explosives and its degradations products was developed by coupling SPME and high performance
liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (HPLC/UV), introducing a modified interface that ensure accuracy,
precision, repeatability, high efficiency, unique selectivity and high sensitive to detection and quantification of
explosives from surface soil samples and increased chromatographic efficiency. A pretreatment step was introduced
for the soil samples which extracted the target compounds into an aqueous phase. Several parameters that affect the
microextraction were evaluated, such as: fiber coating, adsorption and desorption time and stirring rate. The effect of
salting out (NaCl) on analyte extraction and the role of various solvents on SPME fiber were also evaluated.
Carbowax-templated resin (CW/TPR) and Polydimethilsiloxane-divinilbenzene (PDMS-DVB) fibers were used to
extract the analytes from the aqueous samples. Explosives were detected at low &mgr;g/mL concentrations. This study
demonstrates that SPME-HPLC is a very promising method of analysis of explosives from aqueous samples and has
been successfully applied to the determination of nitroaromatic compounds, such as TNT.