Purification of fatty acid ethyl esters by solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography

Thomas G. Bernhardt, Paul A. Cannistraro, David A. Bird, Kathleen M. Doyle, Michael Laposata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


We have developed a two-step method to purify fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) using solid-phase extraction (SPE), with a recovery of 70±3% (mean±S.E.M.) as assessed using ethyl oleate as a recovery marker from a standard lipid mixture in hexane. The first step of the SPE procedure involves application of a lipid mixture to an aminopropyl-silica column with simultaneous elution of FAEE and cholesteryl esters from the column with hexane. Gas chromatographic analysis of FAEE without interference from cholesteryl esters may be performed using the eluate from the aminopropyl-silica column, thus eliminating the need for an octadecylsilyl (ODS) column in this case. The FAEE can then be separated from the cholesteryl esters, if necessary, by chromatography on an ODS column and elution with isopropanol-water (5:1, v/v). Both the aminopropyl-silica and ODS columns were found to be effective for up to four uses. To permit isolation of specific FAEE species following isolation of total FAEE by the two-step SPE method, we have also developed a purification scheme for individual FAEE by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Thus, this simple method allows for reproducible isolation of total FAEE by SPE and isolation of individual FAEE species by HPLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 26 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatty acid ethyl esters
  • Solid-phase extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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