Analysis of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Wastewater by High Resolution Quadrupole GC/MS

Advances in High Resolution Mass Spectrometry and its Emerging Environmental Applications
Oral Presentation

Prepared by T. Anumol, S. Nieto, M. Curtis
Agilent, 2850 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 302-419-8909


Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like Dioxins, Furans and Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are regulated and restricted from production globally as declared by the UN Stockholm Convention. CPs are complex mixtures of polychlorinated alkanes with alkane lengths C10 to C30 and various degrees of chlorination, typically 30 to 75%. Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs, C10-C13) are bioaccumulative and persistent in the environment. Analysis of these compounds represents substantial challenge due to their self-interference as well as an interference with other components of complex industrial matrices. Therefore, to ensure both high selectivity and high sensitivity for the analysis of the SCCP with wide range of chlorination, we used a high-resolution GC/Q-TOF operated in two ionization modes: negative chemical ionization (NCI) as well as low energy electron ionization (low energy EI).
The pure congener standards were first used to evaluate the individual spectra. NCI spectra of SCCPs exhibited minor fragmentation with no significant breakdown of the carbon backbone. Low energy EI data indicated higher degree of fragmentation of the SCCPs as compared to negative CI. However, using this technique allowed the sensitive detection the SCCP species with low number of chlorine atoms. Both NCI and low energy EI techniques were later applied to analyze complex SCCP mixtures. This talk will also highlight the benefits and suitability of analyzing Dioxins with a GC-Q/TOF to meet sensitivity and performance requirements set on the Magnetic Sector.