Determination of alkyl alkylphosphonic acids by liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry using a dicationic reagent
Tak, V.; Purhoit, A.; Pardasani, D.; Garg, P.; Jain, R.; Dubey, D.K.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Rcm 26(22): 2637-2648
A new analytical method based on liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) is proposed and validated for the identification and quantification of alkyl alkylphosphonic acids (AAPAs) in aqueous matrices. Retrospective detection and identification of degradation products of chemical warfare agents is important as an indicator of possible use of chemical warfare agents or of environmental contamination. A commercially available solution of 1,9-nonanediyl-bis-(3-methylimidazolium)bisfluoride (NBMI) allowed detection of AAPAs by positive mode electrospray ionization mass spectrometry by forming an adduct with AAPAs. MS/MS experiments using an ion trap analyzer were carried out for unambiguous identification of AAPAs. Different parameters were optimized in order to obtain both an adequate chromatographic separation and a high sensitivity using experimental design methodology. Quantification was done with matrix-matched calibration standards of AAPAs. The method was validated in terms of linearity (r(2) >0.982), intra- and inter-day precisions (RSD below 15%), and robustness. The method is sensitive enough for the determination of AAPAs in aqueous matrices, with limits of detection in the 1-5 ng mL(-1) range and limits of quantification in the 5-20 ng mL(-1) range. Finally, the method was successfully applied to determine these AAPAs in aqueous samples provided by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons during 26(th) and 29(th) official proficiency tests. The added advantage of this method is identification of low mass range analyte at high mass range, which obviates the background noise at low mass range.