Low Recovery Rate of SPE Cartridges

A low recovery rate of Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) cartridges can be attributed to various factors. Here are some common reasons and potential solutions:

  1. Incorrect Conditioning and Equilibration:
    • Issue: Inadequate conditioning and equilibration of the SPE cartridge can lead to poor recovery.
    • Solution: Ensure that you follow the recommended conditioning and equilibration procedures provided by the cartridge manufacturer. This may involve using specific solvents and volumes.
  2. Incompatibility with Sample Matrix:
    • Issue: The sample matrix may contain substances that interfere with the retention and elution of the target analytes.
    • Solution: Choose an appropriate SPE cartridge with the right sorbent material for your sample matrix. Consider using a different extraction method if the matrix is known to cause issues.
  3. Overloading the Cartridge:
    • Issue: Exceeding the capacity of the SPE cartridge can lead to poor recovery.
    • Solution: Optimize the sample load volume to ensure it falls within the recommended capacity of the cartridge. If needed, consider diluting the sample.
  4. Inadequate Washing:
    • Issue: Incomplete washing of the cartridge may result in the carryover of interfering substances.
    • Solution: Review and optimize the washing steps in your SPE protocol. Ensure that washing solvents are effective in removing unwanted contaminants.
  5. Poor Elution Solvent:
    • Issue: The choice of elution solvent may not be optimal for your target analytes.
    • Solution: Evaluate different elution solvents and gradients to improve the recovery of your analytes. Consider the solubility and compatibility of your target compounds with various elution solvents.
  6. Column Conditioning:
    • Issue: Inadequate conditioning of the SPE column before sample loading.
    • Solution: Ensure that you properly condition the column with the recommended solvents and volumes before loading the sample.
  7. Sample pH:
    • Issue: The pH of the sample may affect the recovery of certain analytes.
    • Solution: Adjust the pH of the sample or use buffers to create a suitable environment for the extraction of your target analytes.
  8. Sorbent Degradation:
    • Issue: The SPE sorbent may degrade over time, affecting its ability to retain analytes.
    • Solution: Check the condition of the SPE cartridges and replace them if necessary. Store cartridges in optimal conditions to prevent degradation.
  9. Instrumental Issues:
    • Issue: Issues with the HPLC or analytical instrument used for analysis.
    • Solution: Ensure that your HPLC system is properly calibrated and maintained. Check for any issues with the detector or other components that may affect recovery.

If the recovery issues persist, it may be beneficial to consult with the SPE cartridge manufacturer or seek assistance from technical support to troubleshoot and optimize your specific extraction protocol.

People should face are a lot of problems when using SPE cartridges. As a consequence, we will talk about why the cartridge has a low recovery rate in the experiments.

The first reason

The target object does not remain sufficiently on the fillers.

And why does this happen? The choice of the SPE is not the most appropriate. In response, the experimenters should choose an SPE cartridge with more retaining power. The eluting power of eluent on the sample is overly strong. As a consequence, the experimenters should decrease the eluting power. Or the load sample has high-volume or high-concentration, which leads to overloading.

The second reason

The target object is not eluted completely. There are three aspects of the incomplete elution. The remaining capacity is too strong. The eluting power is too strong or the eluting volume is too small.

Except for the two cases mentioned above, there are still some other reasons for the low recovery rate. The experimenters should analyze the reasons according to the situation and put out some countermeasures.

C18A SPE Cartridges
CN SPE Cartridges
Cation Exchange Columns

Low recovery in SPE (Solid Phase Extraction) cartridges may stem from issues like improper conditioning, inadequate sample loading, matrix interference, or incompatible solvents. Check for correct pH and ionic strength, optimize wash steps, and ensure complete elution. Avoid over-packing and verify sorbent quality. Address analyte degradation and follow proper column conditioning. If issues persist, consult the manufacturer or seek expert advice.