|FAIMS and fortune
|Ion Mobility - Mass Spectrometry (BMSS)
|Dr Christianne Wicking
Abstract Information :
Petroleum and petroleum related compounds are multi-component mixtures containing compounds with wide ranging chemistries. Integrated oil companies have a requirement to understand these complex mixtures to price crude oil, understand refinery and chemicals process and to develop new products such as fuels and lubricants.
Many techniques are available to characterise these fluids, however often these can be time consuming and produce data that summarises the composition at a low level of granularity. Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry has proven effective in the characterisation of complex petroleum samples at a molecular level. However, high resolution mass spectrometry alone is not a panacea. Direct infusion approaches that rely on the resolving power of the instrument alone suffer from C-trap filling issues with reduced detection of low abundance ions where even semi-quantitation proves to be difficult.
A variety of separation solutions have been utilised to combat these issues with this paper focussing on Fast Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) using an Owlstone chip system coupled to an Orbitrap using electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). ESI-MS is ideally suited for the identification of many petroleum related compounds and is a powerful tool when coupled with FAIMS. FAIMS is an orthogonal separation technique to MS that separates ions by applying an asymmetric field after ionisation and can be used to filter out/separate interfering ions. The research shown here will discuss how FAIMS has been applied to separate different components to better understand petroleum products and for quantification of these compounds.
FAIMS, already a proven technology for the analysis of crude oil scavengers, coupled to an Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometer has the potential to expand the toolbox of the analytical petroleum chemist and revolutionise how we characterise and quantify petroleum related compounds.