Screening for Pollutants in Water with GC/MSD and MassHunter SureTarget mass spectral deconvolution workflow

Poster Presentation

Prepared by , B. Quimby, C. Marvin

Contact Information:; 302-636-8252


Laboratories conducting water analysis are required to screen the samples for a large number of compounds prior to performing a full quantitative analysis. Existing qualitative screening workflows depend on manual screening, which is extremely time consuming and highly dependent on the analyst’s skill. Manual screening processes can lead to overlooked or mis-assigned compounds, potentially due to complex matrices, and result in a significant amount of time exhausted on data analysis. Agilent’s SureTarget GC/MSD Water Pollutants Screener provides a straight forward and easy analysis workflow for the qualitative screening of water samples. Using the automated SureTarget workflow, the mass spectral data is deconvoluted and compared to the 1000 compound water screener library; then the identified compounds are summarized into a batch table. PDF reports are then generated to summarize and review the identified compounds. The GC/MSD screener was utilized to study tap water, creek and river water samples, and multiple stages of the waste water treatment process. The samples were analyzed with the SureTarget workflow, using mass spectral deconvolution. Next, the samples were further analyzed in Unknowns Analysis with the NIST library to identify any additional compounds that were not in the water screener library. The most intriguing results came from the waste water treatment process, in which several compounds, including 4-tert-octylphenol and oxycodone, were identified through the entire treatment process and in the final effluent of the process.