Distinguishing the C3 vs SH4 Mass Split by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography–High Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
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The C3 vs SH4 (0.0034 Da) mass split is considered to be one of the most critical mass splits in petroleomics and is relevant because of the regulatory requirements for sulfur in petroleum fractions. To date, there are two ways to resolve mass splits such as C3 vs SH4: (a) ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FT-MS); (b) high-resolution chromatography such as comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC). High-resolution chromatography minimizes the mass spectral resolution required to distinguish these key chemical constituents and provides additional sample characterization via isomer separation. High resolution mass spectrometry enables unambiguous chemical formulas determination and structural elucidation. In this paper, we demonstrate the combination of high resolution GC×GC with high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry to distinguish the C3 vs SH4 mass split and other common mass splits in a crude oil sample.
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