Integrated systems for on-line gas and liquid chromatography with a single mass spectrometric detector for the automated analysis of environmental samples.

J. Slobodník, A.C. Hogenboom, A.J.H. Louter, U.A.T. Brinkman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


An integrated system has been developed which combines liquid (LC) and gas (GC) chromatographic separation with a single mass spectrometer (MS). On-line solid-phase extraction (SPE) of 10-200 ml aqueous samples on a short (10 x 2.0 mm I.D.) precolumn packed with a styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer is used for analyte enrichment. The trace-enrichment procedure was automated by means of a PROSPEKT cartridge-exchange/ solvent-selection/valve-switching unit. After sample loading, the precolumn is eluted on-line in two subsequent runs, first onto the GC-MS system and, next, onto the LC-MS system using a particle beam (PB) interface. Prior to entering the PB-MS, the LC eluent passes through the flow cell of a UV diode-array detector (DAD). Both GO-MS and LC-PB-MS generate classical electron ionisation (EI) and chemical ionisation (CI) spectra which are useful for the identification of low- and sub-μg/l concentrations of environmental pollutants covering a wide polarity and volatility range. The LC-DAD data provide additional means for quantitation and yield complementary spectral information, All three detection systems (GC-MS, LC-DAD, LC-PB-MS) and the trace-enrichment procedure are fully automated and controlled from the keyboard of the central computer. With such a 'MULTIANALYSIS' system GC-MS, LC-DAD and LC-MS data of the same sample can be obtained within 3 h. The system was optimised with nine chlorinated pesticides in drinking water as test mixture. With 100-ml samples detection limits in GO-MS were 0.0005-0.03 μg/l, and in LC-PB-MS 0.5-7 μg/l, both in the full-scan (EI) mode. Negative chemical ionisation (NCI) with methane as reagent gas improved the sensitivity of six halogenated compounds 3- to 30-fold and provided relevant information for structural elucidation of unknown compounds in real-world samples. LC-DAD detection limits varied from 0.01 to 0.05 μg/l. Relative standard deviations (R.S.D.) of retention times were less than 0.2% in all systems, R.S.D.s of peak areas were 5-15% for GC-MS and LC-PB-MS and less than 5% for LC-DAD. The 'MULTIANALYSIS' system was used to analyse surface water samples and river sediment extracts; several pollutants were detected and identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-371
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 1996


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrated systems for on-line gas and liquid chromatography with a single mass spectrometric detector for the automated analysis of environmental samples.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this