Environmental analytical methods

Determination of alcohol compounds using corona discharge ion mobility spectrometry

HAN Hai-yan , HUANG Guo-dong , JIN Shun-ping , ZHENG Pei-chao , XU Guo-hua , LI Jian-quan , WANG Hong-mei , CHU Yan-nan


Received July 05, 2006,Revised November 28, 2006, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 751-755

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Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is a very fast, highly sensitive, and inexpensive technique, it permits e cient monitoring of volatile organic compounds like alcohols. In this article, positive ion mobility spectra for six alcohol organic compounds have been systematically studied for the first time using a high-resolution IMS apparatus equipped with a discharge ionization source. Utilizing protonated water cluster ions (H2O)nH+ as the reactant ions and clean air as the drift gas, alcohol organic compounds, ethanol, 1- propanol, 2-propanol, 1-butanol, 1-pentanol and 2-octanol, all exhibit product ion characteristic peaks in their respective ion mobility spectrometry, that is a result of proton transfer reactions between the alcohols and reaction ions (H2O)nH+. The mixture of these alcohols, including two isomers, has been detected, and the results showed that they could be distinguished e ectively in the ion mobility spectrum. The reduced mobility values have been determined, which are in very well agreement with the traditional 63Ni-IMS experimental values. The exponential dilution method was used to calibrate the alcohol concentrations, and a detection limit available for the alcohols is in order of magnitude of a few ng/L.

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