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Analysis of Electronics Waste by GCxGC Combined with High-resolution Mass Spectrometry: Using Accurate Mass Information and Mass Defect Analysis to Explore the Data


Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) in combination with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is a powerful tool for the analysis of complex mixtures. However, new software tools are required to facilitate the interpretation of the rich information content in GCxGC/HRMS data sets. In this work, we analyzed a dust sample collected from an electronics recycling facility by using GCxGC in combination with a new high-resolution time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer. Nontraditional Kendrick Mass Defect (KMD) plots were used to identify halogenated contaminants in an electronics waste sample. Database search results combined with elemental composition determinations from exact-mass data were used to identify (potential) persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Sample and Instrument

A dust sample was collected from an electronics recycling facility. Then, 1 gram of this sample was used for extraction into hexane. Afterwards, the hexane solution was analyzed with the JEOL JMS-T100GCV “AccuTOF GCv 4G” equipped with a Zoex ZX2 thermal modulator (Figure 1) and a high-resolution version of the GC Image software (version 2.5.0a2). Table 1 shows the measurement conditions used for the analysis.

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