Use of GC×GC/TOF-MS in the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons: Advantages of Library-Searchable TOF Mass Spectra Combined with High Chromatographic Resolution

N. Bukowski1, D. Rosser1, B. White2, A.G. Scarlett3, C.E. West3 and S.J. Rowland3


ALMSCO International, Gwaun ElaiMedi Science Campus, Llantrisant, RCT, CF72 8XL, U.K.
2 Joint Analytical Systems Benelux B.V, Beemdstraat17A, 5653 MA Eindhoven, The Netherlands
3 Petroleum & Environmental Geochemistry Group, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, U.K.

Presented at: 34th International Symposium on Capilary Chromatography and 7th GC×GC Symposium,
Riva del Garda, Italy, 30 May-4 June 2010.

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Brief Summary

Standard gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) does not provide the resolving power required to analyse very complex mixtures such as petroleum. GC/MS chromatograms usually comprise a characteristic 'hump' of matrix material, meaning compound peaks are only partially resolved.

Confident characterisation, i.e. compound identification, is dependent on the acquisition of full mass spectral data, including molecular and fragment ions, over a wide range of volatility (C10-40 and higher).

In this study, a GCxGC modulator (Zoex) was coupled to a novel time-of-flight (TOF) MS (BenchTOF-dxTM; ALMSCO International) to optimise the chromatographic conditions for the separation of a wide range of hydrocarbons, including hopane biomarkers with molecular weights up to 482, and provide rapid data acquisition in order to obtain the mass spectral resolution required for confident compound identification.

Download the complete poster as an A4 pdf file.

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