Characterization of dicarboxylic naphthenic acid fraction compounds utilizing amide derivatization: proof of concept

Kevin A. Kovalchik, Matthew S. MacLennan, Kerry M. Peru, Chukwuemeka Ajaero, Dena W. McMartin, John V. Headley, David D.Y. Chen
  • Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, September 2017, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/rcm.8000

Using a chemical reaction to distinguish molecules with the same chemical formulae

Why is it important?

High-resolution mass spectrometry is able to provide enough molecular information in order to assign a chemical formula to a molecule in a sample. A chemical formula provides information about what atoms are in a molecule, and does not provide information on how those atoms are connected. How atoms are connected tell us if a molecule is toxic or non-toxic. We analyzed a mixture of undefined petroleum acid contaminants which contain high amounts of O4 species. These O4 species could be "double acids" or they could be "single acids with 2 alcohol groups". Our method is important because it demonstrates that we can distinguish between O4 double acids and O4 alcoholic single acids using a simple chemical reaction.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mr Matthew Simon MacLennan