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A new method to search for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) by linking fragmentation flags with their molecular ions by drift time using ion mobility spectrometry.

08:00 EDT 29th August 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "A new method to search for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) by linking fragmentation flags with their molecular ions by drift time using ion mobility spectrometry."

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of anthropogenic organic fluorinated compounds that have been detected widely. To discover unknown PFASs, previous researchers have applied high-resolution mass spectrometer using fragmentation flagging approach with common fragment ion at the same retention time as the flags. However, it was difficult to search for their molecular ion from co-eluting peaks in the full-scan spectrum at a specific retention time. Here, we attempted to utilize drift time acquired by ion mobility spectrometry for making linkages between fragment ions and their molecular ions. For validating the process, standard solution spiked with PFASs were analyzed by liquid chromatography/ion mobility - quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/IM-QTOF-MS). Fluorinated fragment ions (fragmentation flags) were categorized into three classes: Class 1 (120 types of [CF]), Class 2 (123 types of [CFO]), Class 3 (131 types of [CFOS]) and all overlapping fragmentation flags detected at an identical retention time were bundled together as a "flag set". Injecting standard mixed solution of 20 types of PFASs resulted in picking up 20 flag sets by fragmentation flagging. All the fragmentation flags were detected within a designated range of drift time, and their molecular ion was confirmed as a PFAS spiked in the standard solution even when co-eluting compounds were found at almost same retention time. This method was applied to a household fire extinguisher liquid, resulting in finding out nine molecular ions. Therefore, the new linking method achieved rapid searching for the prospective molecular ions using LC/IM-QTOF-MS.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Chemosphere
ISSN: 1879-1298
Pages: 124644

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