Improved Ionization of Natural Organic Matter for Analysis by FT-ICR MS

Literature seminar abstract

Natural organic matter (NOM) is an extremely complex mixture comprised of a collection of plant, animal, and microbial byproducts at various stages of decomposition. In addition to being one of the largest contributors to the terrestrial carbon pool, the molecular composition of NOM is of extreme interest due to its involvement in key processes that determine the fate and transport of a wide range of contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides, and industrial and anthropogenic byproducts. The introduction of Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometry (FTICRMS) has allowed for analysis of the constituents in NOM on a highly resolved mass axis, being capable of differentiating the tens of thousands of compounds present. However, selectivity in ionization and ionization efficiency limits the type of compounds being detected in FTICRMS, ultimately limiting the scope of the analysis. The challenges in ionization of NOM will be discussed in respect to the CHO molecular formulas of the water soluble fraction of NOM and various ionization techniques. A simple stepwise elution procedure will be presented as a potential method to enhance ionization and increase the number of detectable compounds in this fraction of NOM.


(1)           Hertkorn, N.; Frommberger, M.; Witt, M.; Koch, B. P.; Schmitt-Kopplin, Ph.; Perdue, E.M.; Anal. Chem.  2008, 23, 8908-8919

(2)           Lv, J.; Zhang, S.; Luo, L.; Cao, D.; Analytica Chimica Acta. 2016, 948, 55-61



Division(s): Analytical

Speaker: William Bahureksa

Speaker Institution: Colorado State University

Event Date: 11-30-2017

Event Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Chemistry A101

Mixer Time: 3:45 PM

Mixer Location: Chemistry B101E

Host: T. Borch