Method Optimization for Comprehensive Characterization of Petroleum with High Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Platforms
Published: June 6, 2014
Petroleum is the most complex matrix in nature, constituted by many thousands of compounds. As such, petroleum analysis presents an analytical challenge, and for mass spectrometric analysis we need equipment with high resolving power and high mass accuracy. The matrix complexity and characterization needs demand analytical solutions that will identify individual components (micro-) while also providing differential information on contributions from key functional group contributions (macro-characterization). Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS) is the gold standard for comprehensive analysis of crude oil and petroleomic studies and offers both analytical capabilities mentioned. An alternative to FT-ICR MS is time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS), which offers continuous full range non-skewed mass spectral information and fast acquisition rates ideal for analyte identification of complex mixtures. TOFMS also offers the significant advantage of being readily interfaced to GC and providing acquisition rates compatible with GC. Advances in the resolution of TOFMS provide an alternative for most routine petroleomic MS studies using ESI, APCI, EI, and CI.