Next Steps in GC-MS Petrochemical Analysis: Gulf Coast Conference 2022 Review

Level up your petrochemical analysis after GCC 2022: Learn about GCxGC, AI structural analysis, and how to skip the sample prep when analyzing motor oils.

Gulf Coast Conference 2022 has officially come to a close and our JEOL Applications Team has returned from Galveston, TX with a wealth of new connections and new ideas for petrochemical analysis (). In case you missed it, read below to catch up on our two technical presentations and our in-booth activities.

Petrochemical Analysis using Soft- and Hard-Ionization: GCxGC-HRTOFMS

On Tuesday 10/11, Mass Spec Product Manager Dr. John Dane shared his research on The Analysis of Petroleum Samples Measured by Using GCxGC-HRTOFMS.
In this work, a high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer (HRTOFMS) equipped with a thermal modulator GCxGC system was used to analyze petroleum samples by using an electron ionization/field ionization/field desorption (EI/FI/FD) combination ion source. Additionally, the GC-MS interface was modified to increase the temperature in this region, so that higher boiling point compounds are able to be analyzed by the GCxGC-HRTOFMS system.
More specifically, Dr. Dane demonstrated our GC-Alpha's capabilities by pairing our optional EI/FI/FD combo source with GCxGC separation as a unique and powerful characterization tool for petrochemical mixtures. The GCxGC-EI data provides library searchable MS data while the GCxGC-FI data provides molecular ion accurate mass information to allow full characterization of compound families present in petroleum samples.
The combination of GCxGC, high resolution MS, and soft ionization provides the information needed to effectively analyze complex petrochemical samples.

Automate Structural Analysis using AI and GC-HRTOFMS

Also on Tuesday, Dr. Masaaki Ubukata traveled from our headquarters in Japan to share his work on Automated Structural Analysis for Real Unknown Compounds by Combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) with GC-HRTOFMS.
Despite being the most popular method used in gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), electron ionization (EI) often results in weak or absent molecular ions in the mass spectral data, making it difficult to identify unknowns by EI alone. JEOL’s newly-developed automated structure analysis software, msFineAnalysis AI, uses AI in combination with high-resolution MS to predict chemical structures from EI and SI (soft ionization) data and assigns library matches when available. msFineAnalysis AI builds upon our most recent iteration of this software, msFineAnalysis iQ.
Automated library matching and structure analysis will reduce the time required to perform qualitative analysis on petrochemical samples that contain complex mixtures of structurally-similar compounds. This technology is exclusively available on our AccuTOF™ GC-Alpha, and is scheduled for release in December 2022.

Sample Prep-Free Analysis of Motor Oils

Due to the complexity of lubricating oils, identifying additives can require time-consuming sample preparation and analysis in order to characterize these compounds within a given sample. On the other hand, JEOL’s AccuTOF™ DART® (Direct Analysis in Real Time) can directly characterize the additives in a lubricating oil within seconds with no sample prep necessary.

Additionally, O2-• attachment chemical ionization with DART allows our system to provide complementary information about nonpolar components of the base oil, enhancing its analysis capabilities by providing additional information about the sample without the need for other complex analyses.

Users can save time and money by eliminating sample preparation, even with a material as complex as a lubricating oil. To see our application note, AccuTOF™ DART® Analysis of Motor Oils, click here.


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