Novel Approaches to Non-targeted Analyses of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Environmental Samples via Liquid Chromatography High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (LC-HRMS)

Emerging Environmental Applications for High Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Oral Presentation

Prepared by E. Sedlacko1, J. Sanchez2, C. Higgins1, S. Hao1
1 - Colorado School of Mines, 1500 ILLINOIS ST, GOLDEN, Colorado, 80401-1887, United States
2 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, 355 River Oaks Parkway, , CA, San Jose, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 17203394835


The increased awareness of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the environment and the associated human exposure has encouraged advances in high-resolution analysis of these compounds in environmental samples. Targeted liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) methods provide sensitive detection for many PFASs but may not capture the broad suite of PFASs observed in the environment. A non-targeted technique provides a more comprehensive characterization of PFAS contamination in a sample. Workflows for non-targeted analyses for PFASs will be demonstrated using a Thermo Orbitrap Exploris 240 and Compound Discoverer. In-house PFAS MS2 libraries and a mass interest list were used to assign identities to PFASs detected in various environmental samples. PFASs detected in the samples were subsequently identified using an unbiased non-targeted approach with Compound Discoverer, which allows analysts previously unfamiliar with PFASs to determine distinguishing features such as common fragments, isotope ratios, and neutral losses without coding expertise. The presented non-targeted workflows may be used to gain a better understating of PFASs, their prevalence in the environment, and may be particularly useful for source fingerprinting