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Determination of antioxidants in new and used lubricant oils by headspace-programmed temperature vaporization-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

del Nogal Sánchez, Miguel, Glanzer, Paul, Pérez Pavón, José Luis, García Pinto, Carmelo, Moreno Cordero, Bernardo
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2010 v.398 no.7-8 pp. 3215-3224
1-naphthol, acetates, antioxidants, detection limit, diphenylamine, headspace analysis, mass spectrometry, oils, prediction, solvents, temperature, viscosity
A sensitive method is presented to determine antioxidants (2-, 3-, and 4-tert-butylphenol, 2,6-di-tert-butylphenol, 3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisol, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol, 1-naphthol, and diphenylamine) in new and used lubricant oil samples. Research was carried out on a GC device equipped with a headspace sampler, a programmed temperature vaporizer, and an MS detector unit. The proposed method does not require sample treatment prior to analyses, hence eliminating possible errors occurring in this step. Sample preparation is reduced when placing the oil sample (2.0 g) in the vial and adding propyl acetate (20 μL). Solvent vent injection mode permits a pre-concentration of the compounds of interest in the liner filled with Tenax-TA®, while venting other species present in the headspace. Thereby, both the life of the liner and the capillary column is prolonged, and unnecessary contamination of the detector unit is avoided. Calibration was performed by adding different concentrations of analytes to a new oil which did not contain any of the studied compounds. Limits of detection as low as 0.57 μg/L (2-tert-butylphenol) with a precision lower or equal to 5.3% were achieved. Prediction of the antioxidants in new oil samples of different viscosities (5W40, 10W40, and 15W40) was accomplished with the previous calibration, and the results were highly satisfactory. To determine antioxidants in used engine oils, standard addition method was used due to the matrix effect.