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Study of the Chemical Ionization of Organophosphate Esters in Air Using Selected Ion Flow Tube–Mass Spectrometry for Direct Analysis

Abstract : Organophosphate esters are an emerging environmental concern since they spread persistently across all environmental compartments (air, soil, water, etc.). Measurements of semivolatile organic compounds are important but not without challenges due to their physicochemical properties. Selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) can be relevant for their analysis in air because it is a direct analytical method without separation that requires little preparation and no external calibration. SIFT-MS is based on the chemical reactivity of analytes with reactant ions. For volatile and semivolatile organic compound analysis in the gas phase, knowledge of ion–molecule reactions and kinetic parameters is essential for the utilization of this technology. In the present work, we focused on organophosphate esters, semivolatile compounds that are now ubiquitous in the environment. The ion–molecule reactions of eight precursor ions that are available in SIFT-MS (H3O+, NO+, O2•+, OH–, O•–, O2•–, NO2–, and NO3–) with six organophosphate esters were investigated. The modeling of ion–molecule reaction pathways by calculations supported and complemented the experimental work. Organophosphate esters reacted with six of the eight precursor ions with characteristic reaction mechanisms, such as protonation with hydronium precursor ions and association with NO+ ions, while nucleophilic substitution occurred with OH–, O•–, and O2•–. No reaction was observed with NO2– and NO3– ions. This work shows that the direct analysis of semivolatile organic compounds is feasible using SIFT-MS with both positive and negative ionization modes.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 9:27:50 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 5:12:54 PM

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Mylène Ghislain, Marine Reyrolle, Jean-Marc Sotiropoulos, Thierry Pigot, Hervé Plaisance, et al.. Study of the Chemical Ionization of Organophosphate Esters in Air Using Selected Ion Flow Tube–Mass Spectrometry for Direct Analysis. Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry, American Chemical Society 2022, 33 (5), pp.865-874. ⟨10.1021/jasms.2c00060⟩. ⟨hal-03664507⟩

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