Optimisation of the separation of herbicides by linear gradient high performance liquid chromatography utilising artificial neural networks

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Journal Article
Talanta, 2007, 71 (3), pp. 1268 - 1275
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An artificial neural network (ANN) was employed to model the chromatographic response surface for the linear gradient separation of 10 herbicides that are commonly detected in storm run-off water in agricultural catchments. The herbicides (dicamba, simazine, 2,4-D, MCPA, triclopyr, atrazine, diuron, clomazone, bensulfuron-methyl and metolachlor) were separated using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography and detected with a photodiode array detector. The ANN was trained using the pH of the mobile phase and the slope of the acetonitrile/water gradient as input variables. A total of nine experiments were required to generate sufficient data to train the ANN to accurately describe the retention times of each of the herbicides within a defined experimental space of mobile phase pH range 3.0-4.8 and linear gradient slope 1-4% acetonitrile/min. The modelled chromatographic response surface was then used to determine the optimum separation within the experimental space. This approach allowed the rapid determination of experimental conditions for baseline resolution of all 10 herbicides. Illustrative examples of determination of these components in Milli-Q water, Sydney mains water and natural water samples spiked at 0.5-1 μg/L are shown. Recoveries were over 70% for solid-phase extraction using Waters Oasis® HLB 6 cm3 cartridges. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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