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I am interested in improving the extraction efficiency of hydrocarbons from soil using a soxhlet extractor, and I would like to know what solvents might improve this extraction efficiency, and why. Currently, I am using 1:1 hexane:acetone.

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  • $\begingroup$ The answer depends on what type of hydrocarbon (alkanes, polycyclic aromatic, etc.) you are interested in removing. If you google "solvent to extract hydrocarbons from soil", you'll find many useful links. It seems that methylene chloride:acetone (1:1) is commonly used. $\endgroup$ – ron Apr 11 '15 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately I cannot narrow the focus down to a class of hydrocarbons. Alkanes and polycyclic aromatics could both easily be in my samples. Thanks for the advice, and the suggestion of solvent choice! $\endgroup$ – Galen Apr 11 '15 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of What types of chemicals/ionic liquid could perform this type of separation? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Apr 11 '15 at 22:16

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