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Gas chromatography : tandem mass spectrometry for environmental analysis of organic compounds in water and air particulate matrices

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Title: Gas chromatography : tandem mass spectrometry for environmental analysis of organic compounds in water and air particulate matrices
Author(s): Kaipainen, Jussi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
Discipline: Analytical Chemistry
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2015
Pollution is of concern for human health and the environment. Authorities have set concentration frames for many pollutants. Therefore, monitoring is required in industrial and farming activities, for example. Methods based on gas chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry are mainly utilized in the study of trace pollutants in the environmental samples. The main reason for that being versatility and robustness of the technique, which is capable of analysis of numerous compound groups covering all the main pollutants. This thesis focuses on recent gas chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry method development in environmental analysis. Samples of air particulate matter and from aqueous environment are covered. Optimization of tandem mass spectrometry parameters, such as excitation energies, the choice of precursor ions and product ions are shown. Tandem mass spectrometry techniques increase sensitivity and selectivity of the analysis by reducing baseline due to specific fragmentation. For the reason of comparison, conventional one dimensional mass spectrometric applications are shown and advantages and disadvantages of both approaches are discussed. Research papers published during past decade were reviewed. Studied material included research results of gas chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry applications for determination of organic compounds, such as endocrine disruptive compounds, organometals, illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, brominated and chlorinated organic compounds, some volatile organic compounds, organonitrogen compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, in environmental samples. Sample collection and preparation techniques utilized in applications are reviewed as well. In the experimental part of this study, gas chromatography - mass spectrometry method for the determination of carboxylic acids, phenols and sugars in aerosol particles was developed. The experimental part covers also the study of fatty acids, which are analyzed utilizing the same method. Fatty acids are qualitative trace markers for agriculture based pollution in air. Result of the practical application of fatty acids as trace marker is presented as well. Developed method for determining fatty acids was utilized in field campaign in Bologna, Italy. C18/C16 –ratio is trace marker of agricultural based emission. Campaign results of C18/C16 –ratio and is presented in this thesis. Day-of-week trend of fatty acid emission is covered as well. The utilization of tandem mass spectrometry will reduce common matrix effects of gas chromatography - mass spectrometry and in this way will make analysis more sensitive. Tandem mass spectrometry methods will complete to the requirements of environment monitoring and thus are highly recommended in environmental analysis.

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