Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Analysis of Octyl and Nonylphenol and Their Ethoxylates in Water and Sediments by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Authors
item Loyo-Rosales, Jorge - UNIV. OF MARYLAND
item Schmitz-Alfonso, Isabelle - USDA/FAS
item Rice, Clifford
item Torrents, Alba - UNIV. OF MARYLAND

Submitted to: Analytical Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2003
Publication Date: September 15, 2003
Citation: Loyo-Rosales, J., Schmitz-Alfonso, I., Rice, C., Torrents, A. 2003. Analysis of octyl- and nonylphenol and their ethoxylates in water and sediments by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry. 75:4811-4817.

Interpretive Summary: A quantitative method for the analysis of the two most highly produced surfactants in commerce, octyl- and nonylphenol, and their ethoxylates (1 to 5) in water and sediment is presented. Extraction procedures are based on solid-phase sorption and solvent elution techniques. Identification and quantitation of the analytes is done by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. The method was used to analyze water and sediment from the Back River, MD. Chemical structure information obtained in the mass spectrometer is provided that explains the fragmentation patterns observed during the MS-detection process. Some of these fragments support previous evidence that nonylphenol and its ethoxylates are composed mainly of isomers with a tertiary alpha carbon in its 9-carbon alkyl chain substituent which is not as easily degraded in the environment. Environmental scientists are beginning to use this technology in examining pollutant fate and transport. New strategies will be developed to minimize release of these compounds to the ecosystems.

Technical Abstract: A quantitative method for the analysis of octyl- and nonylphenol, and their ethoxylates (1 to 5) in water and sediment is presented. Extraction procedures are based on solid-phase extraction techniques. Identification and quantitation of the analytes is done by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. Instrument detection limits for the compounds ranged from 0.1 to 9 pg injected on column which allowed method detection limits of 0.04 to 3 ng/L in water and 0.2 to 13 ng/g-dry weight in sediment. The method was used to analyze water and sediment from the Back River, MD, where concentrations for the individual compounds ranged from < 8 to 200 ng/L in water and from < 9 to 6700 ng/g-dry wt. in sediment. Additionally, structural information obtained in the mass spectrometer is presented that supports previous observations that nonylphenol and its ethoxylates are composed mainly by isomers with a tertiary alpha carbon.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page