Author(s): Hourani N, Kuhnert N
Abstract Share this page
Abstract RATIONALE: High molecular weight non-polar hydrocarbons are still difficult to detect by mass spectrometry. Although several studies have targeted this problem, lack of good self-ionization has limited the ability of mass spectrometry to examine these hydrocarbons. Failure to control ion generation in the atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source hampers the detection of intact stable gas-phase ions of non-polar hydrocarbon in mass spectrometry. METHODS: Seventeen non-volatile non-polar hydrocarbons, reported to be difficult to ionize, were examined by an optimized APCI methodology using nitrogen as the reagent gas. RESULTS: All these analytes were successfully ionized as abundant and intact stable [M-H](+) ions without the use of any derivatization or adduct chemistry and without significant fragmentation. Application of the method to real-life hydrocarbon mixtures like light shredder waste and car motor oil was demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Despite numerous reports to the contrary, it is possible to ionize high molecular weight non-polar hydrocarbons by APCI, omitting the use of additives. This finding represents a significant step towards extending the applicability of mass spectrometry to non-polar hydrocarbon analyses in crude oil, petrochemical products, waste or food. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This article was published in Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies