Single-shot biodiesel analysis: nearly instantaneous typification and quality control solely by ambient mass spectrometry

Patricia V Abdelnur, Livia S Eberlin, Gilberto F de Sá, Vanderlea de Souza, Marcos N Eberlin
Analytical Chemistry 2008 October 15, 80 (20): 7882-6
Using a simple and easily implemented desorption/ionization mass spectrometry technique, a tiny droplet of biodiesel placed on the surface of a sheet of paper is analyzed directly and nearly instantaneously under ambient conditions. No pre-separation or sample preparation is required, and clean mass spectra are obtained with great simplicity. In the positive ion mode, easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry, EASI(+)-MS, provides typical profiles of the major components of biodiesel samples, that is, either methyl esters (FAME) or ethyl esters (FAEE) of the natural fatty acids and triglycerides (TAG) from residual oil or oil from adulteration. Each FAME (FAEE) or TAG molecule is detected as a single sodiated molecule, [M + Na] (+) with relative intensities that correlate well with the known fatty acid profiles of the oil. Using EASI(-)-MS, typical and complementary profiles of free fatty acids (FFA) are obtained, which are detected in their deprotonated forms [FAA - H] (-). A general, single-shot approach for biodiesel analysis is therefore described, and samples from different feedstocks, from blends with petrodiesel, or from either methanol or ethanol trans-esterification are readily typified and major parameters of quality accessed.

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