Comprehensive Analysis of Coal Tar and Analysis of Sulfur Compounds
GCxGC is used for comprehensive sample measurements because of its superior separation capabilities. Nevertheless, GCxGC can be inadequate for extremely complex samples. For example, attempting to measure coal tar diluted with dichloromethane directly by GCxGC-MS/MS (Q3 Scan) results in an extremely complicated 2D map (see Fig. 1).
In contrast, Figs. 2 to 4 show the results from analyzing the same sample using LC-GCxGC-MS/MS. Three fractions separated by type using LC were then consecutively measured by GCxGC-MS/MS. The simplified 2D map obtained by HPLC separation allows even more detailed comprehensive analysis.
A wide variety of sulfur compounds is present in fossil fuels in low concentrations, which make analysis vulnerable to matrix effects. Therefore, the LC-GCxGC-MS/MS system is especially useful in such cases, due to its high selectivity and high detection sensitivity.
Fig. 5 shows the MRM measurement results of the sulfur compounds (dibenzothiophene) contained in the second fraction. This shows that MS/MS was able to selectively detect each isomer of dibenzothiophene.
* Data was provided by Prof. Dr. Luigi Mondello at the University of Messina and Chromaleont S. r. l. in Italy.
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