I can remember asking myself this question many years ago at my first environmental laboratory job. I was manually shaking out separatory funnels for EPA 625 and 608 and each sample looked drastically different from the next as I was pouring them into each separatory funnel. At the time, I thought the term wastewater meant anything that came from a sewer pipe and that it mainly consisted of human waste. When I looked deeper into the possible sample categories for these methods, I was very surprised by the different sample types required to be tested as wastewater. With that, it prompted me to ask myself well where does it come from?
Do you have issues seeing acceptable recovery of your phenols? I know I do. These compounds can be challenging to recover and quantitate, and are also found just about everywhere! Read on to learn a couple of fun facts about phenols, but first, let’s explain why phenols can be difficult to work with.