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Liquid Chromatography with Post-Column Reagent Addition of Ammonia in Methanol Coupled to Negative Ion Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Determination of Phenoxyacid Herbicides and their Degradation Products in Surface Water

Author(s): Renata Raina | Michele L. Etter

Journal: Analytical Chemistry Insights
ISSN 1177-3901

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
Original page

A new liquid chromatography (LC)-negative ion electrospray ionization (ESI)–tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) method with post-column addition of ammonia in methanol has been developed for the analysis of acid herbicides: 2,4-dichlorophenoxy ace- tic acid, 4-chloro-o-tolyloxyacetic acid, 2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy)butyric acid, mecoprop, dichlorprop, 4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) butyric acid, 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy propionic acid, dicamba and bromoxynil, along with their degradation products: 4-chloro-2- methylphenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,4,5-trichlorophenol and 3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxybenzoic acid. The samples were extracted from the surface water matrix using solid-phase extraction (SPE) with a polymeric sorbent and analyzed with LC ESI- with selected reaction monitoring (SRM) using a three-point confirmation approach. Chromatography was performed on a Zorbax Eclipse XDB-C18 (50 × 4.6 mm i.d., 1.8 µm) with a gradient elution using water-methanol with 2 mM ammonium acetate mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.15 mL/min. Ammonia in methanol (0.8 M) was added post-column at a flow rate of 0.05 mL/min to enhance ionization of the deg- radation products in the MS source. One SRM transition was used for quantitative analysis while the second SRM along with the ratio of SRM1/SRM2 within the relative standard deviation determined by standards for each individual pesticide and retention time match were used for confirmation. The standard deviation of ratio of SRM1/SRM2 obtained from standards run on the day of analysis for different phenoxyacid herbicides ranged from 3.9 to 18.5%. Limits of detection (LOD) were between 1 and 15 ng L-1 and method detection limits (MDL) with strict criteria requiring
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