Elucidating molecular structures of nonalkylated and short-chain alkyl (n < 5, (CH2)n) Aromatic compounds in crude oils by a combination of ion mobility and ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometries and theoretical collisional cross-section calculations

Arif Ahmed, Yunju Cho, Kevin Giles, Eleanor Riches, Jong Wha Lee, Hugh I. Kim, Cheol Ho Choi, Sunghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry has allowed the determination of elemental formulas of the compounds comprising crude oils. However, elucidating molecular structures remains an analytical challenge. Herein, we propose and demonstrate an approach combining ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS), ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry, and theoretical collisional cross-section (CCS) calculations to determine the molecular structures of aromatic compounds found in crude oils. The approach is composed of three steps. First, chemical structures are suggested based on the elemental formulas determined from ultrahigh-resolution mass spectra. Second, theoretical CCS values are calculated based on these proposed structures. Third, the calculated CCS values of the proposed structures are compared with experimentally determined CCS values from IM-MS data to provide proposed structures. For proof of concept, 31 nonalkylated and short-chain alkyl (n < 5, (CH 2)n) aromatic compounds commonly observed in crude oils were analyzed. Theoretical and experimental CCS values matched within a 5% RMS error. This approach was then used to propose structures of compounds in selected m/z regions of crude oil samples. Overall, the combination of ion mobility mass spectrometry, ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry, and theoretical calculations was shown to be a useful tool for elucidating chemical structures of compounds in complex mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3300-3307
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Volume86
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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