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SPE--01 Cleanup Station
For Trace Analysis of Food and Environmental Samples
spe   SPE-01 cleanup station is designed for sample preparation in trace analysis of food and environmental samples. By automating the tedious cleanup procedures, SPE-01 helps to increase the sample throughput and improves the quality of analytical results.

  The instrument can handle up to 6 samples per batch without attendance. Up to 5 solvents can be used for column conditioning and multi step elution. Two fractions can be collected for each sample. These features make SPE-1 an ideal tool for sample preparation in multi residue analysis.
a   Features

1. Exhaustive sample injection
In most trace analysis of food samples, the whole portion of concentrated sample extracts needs to be added to column or SPE cartridge for cleanup. However, most automatic SPE instruments cannot do exhaustive sampling. So concentrated sample extracts have to be adjusted to a certain volume and then only an aliquot can be injected.SPE-01 is specially designed to meet the needs of exhaustive sampling. There is no need for the
volume adjustment. As shown in the picture on the right, samples are taken into the sample loop by the built-in metering pump. While pumping the sample, the instrument will display the real volume
of sample in the loop and the method parameters can be adjusted according to the sample volume. After sample is taken, a rinse solvent can be added to the sample container by simply pressing the ^Rinse button ̄. The rinse procedure ensures complete transfer of samples and helps to reduce possibility of cross contamination.


2. Easy operation
SPE-01 uses a built-in method for automatic column cleanup. The method can be easily edited and can be saved for repeated use. The operation of
instrument involves only 7 buttons. In a typical routine operation, users load samples to the sample loops, assign column and fraction collection positions for each sample, and then press the start button. The instrument will process the samples one by one till all the samples have been cleaned up. A typical method will first condition the column, and then add sample from the loop to the column. Several steps of elution using different solvents are followed and target fractions are collected for instrumental determination.
In case the previous step in sample preparation is slow, users can load one sample and start the cleanup first. When the second sample is ready for cleanup, the instrument can be paused. After adding the second sample, the cleanup will resume.
3. Small footprint and computer-free operation
The instrument has a very small footprint and does not need computer. It helps to save precious laboratory space. When volatile or toxic solvents (such as hexane, acetone, and petroleum ether) are used, the instrument can be conveniently place in a fume hood.
4. Robust design
SPE-01 uses valves for liquid transfer and fraction collection. It does not involve complex XYZ motion control. Only moving parts are the pump plunger and the valve rotors. It helps to lower the cost of the device and make the device very reliable.

a   Applications
  1. Column cleanup for analysis of pesticide residues and drugs in food samples In trace analysis of food samples, samples are first extracted by blending with solvents or by soaking ground sample in solvent overnight. The extracts are filtered out and then concentrated to 1-2 mL. Sometimes solvent exchange needs to be done if the original extraction solvent is too strong for the following column cleanup. Traditional column cleanup uses glass columns packed with silica gel, alumina, or Florisil. Now pre packed solid phase extraction cartridges are getting popular.
SPE-01 can accommodate both columns of traditional size and the small SPE cartridges. It provides elution using up to 5 solvents. A typical method of SPE-01 involves pre conditioning of column using a strong solvent (such as acetone) followed by a weak solvent (such as hexane). After adding the sample, columns are first eluted with a weak solvent to remove lipids and other low polarity components from sample matrix. The strength of elution solvents can be increased stepwise. In handling multi residue analysis, pesticides of different polarity may be collected into two fractions.
2. Solid phase extraction of water samples
Solid phase extraction is used for cleanup and enrichment of water samples for analysis of semi volatile organic pollutants. In most cases, water is drawn through the SPE cartridge by a vacuum pump. The flow is not stable. During the extraction process, the flow can decrease gradually or even stop due to accumulation of small particles and natural polymers (such as humic acids) in the sorbent bed. Frequent attendance is necessary. The unstable flow rate during sample addition and elution also affects the reproducibility of the analytical results.
SPE-01 uses a metering pump to deliver the sample through the SPE cartridge. It is faster and stable. A stable flow rate helps to improve reproducibility of the analysis.
The operation of SPE-01 is simple. Instead of preloading sample to the loops, the inlets of sample loops are placed in the sample container. The instrument will draw the sample to SPE cartridge according to pre defined volume. All the necessary procedures (preconditioning, add sample, air drying of sorbent bed prior to elution, elution, and collection) are carried out automatically for up to 6 water samples. There is no need of attendance during the sample preparation.
3. Analysis of drugs in biological samples
Solid phase extraction are used to remove proteins and lipids from biological samples (plasma and urine) prior to determination by HPLC or LC-MS. Many available automatic SPE systems are designed for such application. They use syringe to take an aliquot from each sample and add it to the SPE cartridge. Here exhaustive injection is normally not necessary. They can also handle more samples than SPE-01.
A problem with their design is the possibility of drying out of the sorbent bed during sample addition and elution. It may affect recovery and the efficiency of cleanup. Although cartridges that are tolerant to drying out are available, they are more expensive than normal silica based cartridges.
The design of SPE-01 can overcome the drying out problem as the liquid path is closed when there is no liquid flow. Another advantage of SPE-01 is its lower cost compared to other automatic SPE instruments. Several SPE-01 may be used together when higher sample throughput is necessary.
4. Regeneration of used SPE cartridges
Sometimes used SPE cartridges are regenerated for repeated use to reduce the cost. SPE-01 can use up to 5 elution solvents and the flow rate can go up to 20 mL/min. It is very convenient for fast regeneration of the cartridges.
a  Specifications
Sample capacity

6 per batch
Volume of sample
0.1 to 999.9 mL
Material of wetted parts
Stainless steel, Teflon, PEEK
System control
Micro controller with panel key pad and LCD as interface
Up to 10 lines for programming Permanent storage of parameters in the system
Pump flow rate
0.1 to 20 mL/min
Pressure limit of pump
1 bar or 6 bar
Power supply
24 VDC
< 1 A
8 Kg
Dimension 30 x 36 x 45 cm (width x depth x height)
a  Ordering Information
Part Number Description
SPE cleanup station with a pump of 1-bar pressure limit
SPE-01-01 SPE cleanup station with a pump of 6-bar pressure limit