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Quantitative analysis of diamondoids in crude oils using gas chromatography–triple quadrupole mass spectrometry

Liang, Qianyong, Xiong, Yongqiang, Fang, Chenchen, Li, Yun
Organic geochemistry 2012 v.43 pp. 83-91
energy, gas chromatography, ions, mass spectrometry, monitoring, oils, petroleum, quantitative analysis, solvents, China
In this study, a simple solvent dilution followed by highly selective and sensitive gas chromatography–triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC–MS–MS) detection was employed to quantify diamondoids in crude oils. Runtime parameters, i.e., parent and daughter ions, collision energy (CE) and scan time, were optimized to obtain maximum selectivity and sensitivity for target analytes. Under optimum conditions, the reproducibility and accuracy of the method were tested and found to be satisfactory. Comparison of GC–MS–MS and GC–MS methods for the determination of diamondoids indicates that GC–MS–MS yields higher sensitivity (method quantitation limits of 0.08–0.37μg/goil) and better selectivity than GC–MS (method quantitation limits of 0.78–8.44μg/goil) due to the elimination of matrix ion interferences using the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. In addition, quantitative data confirm that group separation has a considerable effect on the quantification of diamondoids and the effect appears to depend on multiple factors. Two crude oils (TZ261 and TD2) from the Tarim Basin, China were used to evaluate the GC–MS–MS method. The results prove that the GC–MS–MS method is a promising tool for quantitative analysis of diamondoids in crude oils, especially for oil samples with low diamondoid concentrations.