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Development of a Multiple-Class High-Resolution Gas Chromatographic Relative Retention Time Model for Halogenated Environmental Contaminants

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journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2003 by Sierra Rayne, Michael G. Ikonomou
A predictive model for the relative gas chromatographic retention times (GC-RRTs) of the following nine classes of halogenated environmental contaminants was developed:  polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); polychlorinated diphenyl ethers (PCDEs); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs); polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs); polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs); polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PBDDs); polybrominated dibenzofurans (PBDFs); and organochlorine pesticides. MOPAC calculated physicochemical properties and structural descriptors in the model include molecular weight, square root of the number of halogen substituents, ionization potential, dipole moment, and the number of ortho, meta, and para halogen substituents. Using these variables, individual models for each of the contaminant classes were combined into a multiple class model incorporating the GC-RRTs of the 375 compounds of interest. The individual and multiclass GC-RRT models had acceptable fits between observed and predicted GC-RRTs (r2 = 0.9741 − 0.9990 for PBDEs, PCDEs, PCBs, PCNs, PCDD/Fs, and PBDD/Fs; r2 = 0.9250 for pesticides; and r2 = 0.9631 for the multiclass model) over a wide range of retention times and molecular structures. The combined model was tested on known GC-RRTs of hydroxylated PCBs and chlorinated phenoxyphenols and provided satisfactory results, demonstrating the strength of the model in predicting GC-RRT windows for contaminant classes not used in constructing the model. Such models will be useful in predicting the GC retention characteristics of novel environmental contaminants and their degradation products, for which analytical standards may not be available.

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