Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Summer 2014


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015


Copyright © 2015 Emily Hoehn


The increasing occurrence of pharmaceuticals at low concentration and other “emerging contaminants” in the surface and ground water, has led to a critical need for a wide variety of methods for the accurate measurement of chemicals at low concentrations in a cost effective manner. The objective of this study was to develop a sample preparation method that allows the quantification of two pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine and diphenhydramine) commonly reported in treated municipal wastewater in plant tissue (leafy lettuce) extracts using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Solid phase extraction (SPE) was used to extract analytes while additional sample purification was attempted through the use of reverse phase C18-bonded silica environmental cartridges and polymeric HLBTM cartridges. Sensitivity for the instrumental method was determined to be 36.6ng/g for diphenhydramine and 12.3ng/g for carbamazepine with a standard deviation of 4.0920 and 12.2284, respectively.