Heading to the Multidimensional Chromatography Workshop? LECO Talks to Not Miss!


We can’t wait for the Multidimensional Chromatography Workshop! The 10th annual workshop will be held in Liege, Belgium January 21-23, 2019, so it is just around the corner! The workshop itself is a fantastic way for experts in the field to share and discuss their research. The three days of the conference will feature both key speaker presentations and focus group discussions on the challenges and the future of multidimensional chromatography. 

Check out the list below to see the talks we are involved in—we hope to see you there!


Comprehensive, Non-Target Environmental Exposome Sample Characterization Using GCxGC and High Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry.

Monday, January 21st @ 11:50 AM CET

Authors: Todd S. Richards, David E. Alonso, Lorne M. Fell, Joseph E. Binkley

Abstract: Historically targeted analysis has been the only practical route to evaluate complex environmental samples. This focused testing, while effective has often missed emerging or untargeted compounds within samples. Improvements in detection & data processing capabilities of various systems have allowed scientists to more fully evaluate these same samples using non-targeted (NT) techniques. Often the evaluations are driven by a lab’s available equipment & are heavily influenced by current workflows rather than an evaluation of multiple hardware & software platforms in the hands of expert users. The EPA is currently conducting a multiple lab, multiple platform evaluation for NT analyte detection. The goal of ENTACT (EPA’s Non-Targeted Analysis Collaborative Trial) is to evaluate several platforms & strategies for analysis & reporting to facilitate future improvements to NT analysis workflows. Our previous work in this project was on the first ten blinded standard mixtures. This follow-up presentation will focus on the house dust, serum & silicone wristband samples included in the study as well as the collection of individual compound standards, which will be used to expand a high resolution, accurate mass (HRAM) library. The samples were introduced into a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatograph (GCxGC) coupled with a HRAM time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) in both electron ionization (EI) & chemical ionization (CI) modes. Post collection, non-target data processing software was used to find & deconvolve analytes within the samples. Deconvolved spectra were matched to existing commercial MS libraries & screened based on the peak’s retention index value, molecular ion mass accuracy & fragment ion formula fidelity. Once analysis was completed, the findings were reported to the EPA. The EPA then unblinded the samples & allowed for re-review & resubmission of results. The results of both submissions will be discussed in this presentation.

A Diverting Flow Modulator: A Different Take on Flow Modulation

Tuesday, January 22 @ 10:50 AM CET

Author: David Borton 

Our latest innovation for GCxGC modulation is here! Learn more about how it can simplify GCxGC, saving you time and resources in your lab. Stay tuned for the abstract coming soon!

Case Studies in Oil Spill Forensics: Finding Petroleum Biomarkers with GCxGC-TOFMS

Tuesday, January 22nd @ 12:10 PM CET

Authors: Christina N. Kelly, Robert K. Nelson, Christopher M. Reddy, Joseph E. Binkley, and Lorne M. Fell

Abstract: Tracing the geochemistry of crude oil using petroleum biomarkers is known as petroleum forensics. Identifying and calculating relative ratios of the “molecular fossils,” chemical structures such as hopanes and steranes that are resistant to weathering and other forms of degradation, is crucial for differentiating various sources of crude oil. Pinpointing the chemical “fingerprint” of the fuel assists with determining whether a natural oil seep or human intervention is responsible for release of oil into the environment and then taking the next step of deciding on proper clean-up techniques. In this presentation, ratios of several biomarkers from samples collected from various famous oil spills are compared and contrasted. Analysis using a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry system (GCxGC-TOFMS) equipped with a new, robust, and easy-to-use flow-based  modulator is performed on crude oil samples from various natural oil seeps, tankers, and weathered oil spills. The second dimension of chromatographic separation provides the necessary peak capacity to separate different classes of compounds based on RDBE and polarity, allowing for clear resolution of saturated hydrocarbons from their heteroatomically substituted counterparts. Using a TOFMS with better-than-nominal mass resolution allows for more confident differentiation of substituted hydrocarbons on the detector side, providing the option for matching full mass range spectra not only to commercially available but also user-generated spectral libraries. The combination of GCxGC with TOFMS provides a full characterization of these oils for accurate determination of source. 

A New GCxGC-TOFMS Method for Quantitation of Biofuel Components in Jet Fuel

Tuesday, January 22nd @ 4:30 CET

Authors: Christina N. Kelly, Joseph E. Binkley, and Lorne M. Fell

Abstract: As the trend toward “greener,” renewable biofuels becomes more prevalent in the petroleum marketplace, concerns over pipeline cross-contamination and mixing are being addressed through more rigorous analytical testing. For jet fuels, especially, regulated methods like IP585 and ASTM D7974 respectively address the accurate quantitation of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), which impact jet fuel freezing points and can cause fuel gelling to occur, and determination of specific hydrocarbons in synthesized iso-paraffins (SIP) that are used for blending with jet fuel. Utilizing two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS), a method for analysis of jet fuel that combines these two standard methods for determination of FAMEs and SIP hydrocarbons has been developed. Leveraging the increased chromatographic resolution that comes with GCxGC, more accurate quantitation for these specific analytes can be achieved, as FAME peaks are pulled away from other jet fuel matrix peaks. Hydrocarbons present in SIP such as farnesane and hexahydrofarnesane, quantitatively used for synthetic blend specifications, are separated from the aromatic species present in jet fuel. With TOFMS as the detector, identification of other potential non-targeted contaminants or analytes of interest, such as sulfur- or nitrogen-substituted species, can be determined by matching full mass range spectra to commercially available libraries. Taking advantage of the benefits of both multidimensional gas chromatography and fast spectral acquisition with TOFMS, this new method produces a more comprehensive characterization of jet fuels and the contributions made from shared pipelines or biofuel blending.