Advanced molecular-fingerprinting analysis of dissolved organic sulfur by electrospray ionization-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry using optimal spray solvent


Yuehui Kang , Dong Cao , Ziyu Rao , Fanglan Geng , Hongyun Niu , Yali Shi , Yaqi Cai

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2020.05.008

Received February 29, 2020,Revised , Accepted May 08, 2020, Available online June 07, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 67-74

Molecular level characterization of dissolved organic sulfur (DOS) by electrospray ionization-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI-FTICR MS) is necessary for further understanding of the role of DOS in the environment. Here, ESI spray solvent, a key parameter for ion production during ESI process, was investigated for its effect on the molecular characterization of DOS by ESI-FTICR MS. 100% MeOH as spray solvent was found for the first time to remarkably enhance the ionization efficiency of the majority of CHOS-molecules in NOM, which facilitated a total of 1473 CHOS-molecular formulas with one sulfur atom to be detected. The number of CHOS-molecular formulas obtained using 100%MeOH as spray solvent increased notably over 740 in comparison with those using 50% MeOH aqueous solution (731) or 50% ACN aqueous solution (653). Moreover, due to the enhancement of ionization efficiency of DOS during ESI processes, the tandem mass spectra of the NOM CHOS-molecules could be easily obtained using 100% MeOH as spray solvent, which were hardly obtained using 50% MeOH aqueous solution as spray solvent. The results of the tandem mass spectra suggested the first discovery of organosulfates or sulfonic acids in Suwannee River NOM sample. A simple method based on 100% MeOH as ESI spray solvent for advanced molecular characterization of DOS by ESI-FTICR MS was proposed and applied, and the results revealed more molecular information of DOS in sea DOM samples.

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