New analytical workflow delivers rapid & highly selective results
Naphthenic acids are industrial by-products produced when petroleum is extracted from oil sand deposits. The chemicals are traditionally contained in oil sand tailings ponds, but the potential for their transport into natural waterways is of great concern. That is because naphthenic acids have been identified as a primary source of toxicity of these tailings ponds and are considered an environmental health hazard (1). In mammals, these compounds can cause liver & heart damage, brain hemorrhaging, and nervous system depression, among other highly chronic conditions.
Classical naphthenic acids (characterized by the chemical formula CnH(2n+z)O2, where z is a negative integer representing hydrogen deficiency) have been detected in some surface waters at levels of1-2 mg/L, and in oil sand tailings at levels as high as 100 mg/L (1). GC and LC techniques combined with mass spec are commonly used to analyze for naphthenic acids due to the complex nature of the water samples being analyzed. These techniques often require very long run times, many sample handling steps, and complex multi-dimensional chromatography to obtain meaningful results.
Learn more about a new workflow that combines a unique gas phase separation via high resolution and differential ion mobility (DMS) mass spectrometry, offering a faster, greener, more selective approach to detect naphthenic acids in water samples.