Melamine Sponge Functionalized with Urea-Formaldehyde Co-Oligomers as a Sorbent for the Solid-Phase Extraction of Hydrophobic Analytes
García-Valverde, María Teresa
Stalikas, Constantine D.
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A new procedure for the functionalization ofmelamine sponge (MeS) with urea-formaldehyde (UF) co-oligomers is put forward. The procedure differs from the typical synthesis of the UF co-polymer, as it employs a base-catalyzed condensation step at certain concentrations of urea and formaldehyde. The produced melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF) sponge cubes are hydrophobic, despite the presence of hydrophilic groups in the oligomers. The MUF sponge developed herein is used as a sorbent for the solid-phase extraction of 10 analytes, from 6 different classes (i.e., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, benzophenones, parabens, phenols, pesticides and musks) and an analytical method is developed for their liquid chromatographic separation and detection. Low limits of quantification (0.03 and 1.0 g L�����1), wide linear ranges and excellent recoveries (92–100%) are some of the benefits of the proposed procedure. The study of the synthesis conditions of MUF cubes reveals that by altering them the hydrophilic/lipophilic balance of the MUF cubes can be tuned, hinting towards a strong potential for many other applications