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Bromination of Aromatic Compounds by Residual Bromide in Sodium Chloride Matrix Modifier Salt During Heated Headspace GC/MS Analysis
Fine, D., S. Ko, AND Scott G. Huling. Bromination of Aromatic Compounds by Residual Bromide in Sodium Chloride Matrix Modifier Salt During Heated Headspace GC/MS Analysis. TALANTA. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, , 20-26, (2013).
Submission to journal Talanta.
Analytical artifacts attributed to the bromination of toluene, xylenes, and trimethylbenzenes were found during the heated headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis of aqueous samples. The aqueous samples were produced from Fenton-like chemical oxidation reactions and contained aromatic compounds, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and ferric sulfate. Prior to GC/MS headspace analysis, the samples were acidified (pH < 2), and sodium chloride was amended to the headspace vial as a matrix modifier. The brominated artifacts were generated during heated headspace analysis. Further, when samples were spiked with a mixture of volatile chlorinated and aromatic compounds (50 µg/L), poor spike recoveries of toluene and xylenes occurred, and in some cases complete loss of trimethylbenzenes and naphthalene resulted. Where poor recovery of aromatic spike compounds occurred, brominated aromatic compounds were found. The only significant source of bromine in the reaction scheme is the bromide typically present (<0.01% w/w) in the sodium chloride amended to the samples. Conversely, brominated artifacts were absent when a buffered salt mixture composed of sodium chloride and potassium phosphate dibasic/monobasic was used as a matrix modifier and raised the sample pH (pH ~ 6). This indicated that the brominated artifacts resulted from the reaction of the aromatic compounds with BrCl, which was formed by the reaction of H2O2, chloride, and bromide under acidic conditions. An alternative matrix modifier salt is recommended that prevents the bromination reaction and avoids these deleterious effects on sample integrity during headspace analysis.