Quantitative Comparison of Perfluorinated Organic compounds in Drinking Water between Tandem Triple Quadrupole MS/MS and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry using Orbitrap Technology- Targeted, non-Targeted and Unknowns

Characterization of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information: [email protected]; 626-386-1100


The unique water-, oil-, grease-, stain- and heat-resistant properties of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have led to their widespread use in diverse industrial applications and multiple consumer products for over fifty years. Resistant to degradation, many of these synthetic compounds have become persistent and ubiquitous environmental pollutants.
Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) is the method of choice for the analysis of ionic PFAS in a variety of matrices. Methods such as EPA Method 537 have been used for the analysis of drinking water for select target analytes. However, other screening strategies taking into account full scan mode and other advanced MS/MS scan modes can potentially offer a valuable alternative to SRM based methodology due to the development of more rugged, sensitive and selective instrumentation.
Orbitrap high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) allows for excellent full-scan quantitation of target PFAS with MS/MS confirmation. In addition, screening for other contaminants is possible with powerful software tools utilizing comprehensive compound databases and spectral libraries. A comparison of HRAM and tandem mass spectrometry will be described utilizing a standard reference method (EPA Method 537) for the basis of the analysis. The two technologies will be compared in terms of the parameters described in the methodology: calibration, lowest concentration minimum reporting limit (LCMRL), method detection limit (MDL), precision and accuracy. The results show that HRAM provides equal or better quantitation in full scan as compared to tandem mass spectrometry, with the additional capability to screen for suspect contaminants.