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Compound-specific stable carbon isotope ratios of phenols and nitrophenols derivatized with N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide



Compound-specific stable carbon isotope ratios of phenols and nitrophenols derivatized with N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide



Analytica Chimica Acta 786: 95-102



We developed an analytical method for measuring compound-specific stable carbon isotope ratios (δ(13)C) of phenols and nitrophenols in filter samples of particulate organic matter. The method was tested on 13 phenols derivatized with N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA), together with four nonphenolic compounds. The data obtained by our method required two specific corrections for the determination of valid δ(13)C values: (1) for nitro compounds, the routine correction with use of m/z 46 for the contribution of (12)C(17)O(16)O molecules) to m/z 45 was modified due to impact of NO2 on the m/z 46 trace, and (2) for the derivatized phenols, measured δ(13)C values were corrected for the shift in δ(13)C due to the addition of carbon atoms from the BSTFA moiety. Analysis of standard-spiked filters showed that overall there was a small compound-dependent bias in the δ(13)C values: the average bias±the standard error of the mean of -0.21±0.1‰ for the standard compounds tested, except 3-methylcatechol, methylhydroquinone, 4-methyl-2-nitrophenol, and 2,6-dimethyl-4-nitrophenol, whereas the average biases±the standard errors of the mean for those were +1.2±0.3‰, +1.2±0.2‰, -1.2±0.2‰, and -1.4±0.5‰, respectively, when the injected mass of a derivatized compound exceeded 15 ngC. In situations where such small biases and uncertainties are acceptable, the method described here could be used to obtain valuable information about δ(13)C values. We also analyzed a real filter sample to demonstrate the practical applicability of the method.

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Accession: 052269273

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23790297

DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.05.025


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