Separation of chlorophenoxyacetic acids and chlorophenols by using capillary zone electrophoresis

Janpen Kruaysawat, Philip J. Marriott, Jeff Hughes, Craige Trenerry

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7 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the choice of electrolyte systems for the separation and detection of a range of chlorophenoxyacetic acids and chlorophenols by means of capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) is discussed. A series of acetate buffers over the buffering capacity pH range 4.03-5.5 were initially chosen for the separation. It was found that chlorophenoxyacetic acids could be separated at pH 4.03 and 4.5 but the most satisfactory separation of chlorophenols was obtained at pH 5.5. The factors affecting separation selectivity, including the addition of organic modifiers, was also studied. The use of 25% 2-butanol, 5% ethylene glycol and 10% acetonitrile as organic solvents resulted in the total separation of both classes of these compounds but poor peak shape of chlorophenols resulted and a number of chlorophenoxyacetic acids were not well separated. A borate-phosphate buffer gave improved peak shape of chlorophenols. Further improved separation of the components of the mixture was obtained by the addition of 2 mM fully methylated-β-cyclodextrin to the 35 mM borate-60 mM phosphate buffer at pH 6.5, maintaining good peak shape. In this case, separation of the two compound classes, chlorophenoxyacetic acids and chlorophenols, is achieved, with complete resolution of individual compounds in less than 5 min with high efficiency (of the order of 150 000 plates for the ca. 40 cm column). The method is applied to a commercial 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) herbicide mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2185
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid analysis
  • Capillary zone electrophoresis
  • Chlorophenols
  • Chlorophenoxyacetic acids
  • Fully methylated-β-cyclodextrin
  • Organic additives

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