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Validation and Evaluation of High-Resolution Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry on Molecular Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter

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journal contribution
posted on 09.03.2020, 11:42 by Qiong Pan, Xiaocun Zhuo, Chen He, Yahe Zhang, Quan Shi
Molecular composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a hot topic in subjects such as environmental science and geochemistry. Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) has been applied to molecular composition characterization of DOM successfully. However, high instrument and maintenance costs have constrained its wider application. A high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometer (Orbitrap MS) can provide approximately 500,000 resolving power (at m/z 200), which is potentially capable of characterizing the molecular composition of DOM. In this paper, the application of high-resolution Orbitrap MS was evaluated by comparing with FT-ICR MS in the aspect of resolution, mass distribution, detection dynamic range, and isotopic peak intensity ratio. The impact of instrument parameters of Orbitrap MS was further investigated, which includes ionization, ion transfer, and mass detection. The result shows that the high-resolution Orbitrap MS is capable or even preferable for molecular characterization of DOM. However, the peak intensity distributions are dependent on the instrument parameters, which could affect the environmental impact assessment caused by the sample itself. The result indicates that development of a universal and comparable method is of great demand.