• Gas chromatographic electron capture negative ionization mass spectrometric (GC/ECNI/MS) determination of unique fluorinated compounds in the sediments of Lake Ontario and the effect of high-boiling alcohols (as injection solvents) on chromatographic behaviour of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in gas chromatography

      Zielinski-Lawrence, Rosalie Krystyna.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      Part I - Fluorinated Compounds A method has been developed for the extraction, concentration, and determination of two unique fluorinated compounds from the sediments of Lake Ontario. These compounds originated from a common industrial landfill, and have been carried to Lake Ontario by the Niagara River. Sediment samples from the Mississauga basin of Lake Ontario have been evaluated for these compounds and a depositional trend was established. The sediments were extracted by accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and then underwent clean-up, fractionation, solvent exchange, and were concentrated by reduction under nitrogen gas. The concentrated extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography - electron capture negative ionization - mass spectrometry. The depositional profile determined here is reflective of the operation of the landfill and shows that these compounds are still found at concentrations well above background levels. These increased levels have been attributed to physical disturbances of previously deposited contaminated sediments, and probable continued leaching from the dumpsite. Part II - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry is the most common method for the determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from various matrices. Mass discrimination of high-boiling compounds in gas chromatographic methods is well known. The use of high-boiling injection solvents shows substantial increase in the response of late-eluting peaks. These solvents have an increased efficiently in the transfer of solutes from the injector to the analytical column. The effect of I-butanol, I-pentanol, cyclopentanol, I-hexanol, toluene and n-octane, as injection solvents, was studied. Higher-boiling solvents yield increased response for all PAHs. I -Hexanol is the best solvent, in terms of P AH response, but in this solvent P AHs were more susceptible to chromatographic problems such as peak splitting and tailing. Toluene was found to be the most forgiving solvent in terms of peak symmetry and response. It offered the smallest discrepancies in response, and symmetry over a wide range of initial column temperatures.