EN 16181:2018

Soil, treated biowaste and sludge - Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) by gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Publication date:   Jul 16, 2018

General information

99.60 Withdrawal effective   Feb 16, 2022


CEN/TC 444 Environmental characterization of solid matrices

European Norm

13.030.01   Wastes in general | 13.080.10   Chemical characteristics of soils



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This European Standard specifies the quantitative determination of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (see Table 2) in sludge, soil and treated biowaste using GC-MS and HPLC-UV-DAD/FLD covering a wide range of PAH contamination levels (see also Annex B).
When using fluorescence detection, acenaphthylene cannot be measured.
The limit of detection depends on the determinants, the equipment used, the quality of chemicals used for the extraction of the sample and the clean-up of the extract.
Typically, a lower limit of application of 0,01 mg/kg (expressed as dry matter) can be ensured for each individual PAH. This depends on instrument and sample.
Sludge, soil and treated biowaste can differ in properties and also in the expected contamination levels of PAHs and presence of interfering substances. These differences make it impossible to describe one general procedure. This European Standard contains decision tables based on the properties of the sample and the extraction and clean-up procedure to be used. Two general lines are followed, an agitation procedure (shaking) or use of soxhlet/pressurized liquid extraction.
NOTE Other PAH compounds can also be analysed with this method, provided suitability has been proven.

Related legislation

Legislation related to this standard


Protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture

Life cycle


CEN/TS 16181:2013


EN 16181:2018
99.60 Withdrawal effective
Feb 16, 2022


EN 17503:2022