Environmental Forensic Analysis of Crude and Refined Petroleum Products Utilizing GC×GC-FID, GC×GC-TOF-MS, and GC×GC-HRT-MS

Forensic Environmental Chemistry
Oral Presentation

Prepared by R. Nelson, K. Gosselin, C. Ward, C. Reddy
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Fye Lab Room #118 MS #4, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02453, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 508-289-3452


In order to perform detailed studies on the source, transport, and ultimate fate of acute and chronic releases of petroleum hydrocarbons high-resolution separations of target compounds and compound classes from complex mixtures such as petroleum frequently require techniques with high resolving power such as comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC). GC×GC coupled with flame ionization (FID), time of flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS), and high resolution time of flight mass spectrometry (HRT-MS) are three of the high resolution tools employed in our laboratory. Here we examine a number of oil spills (Ixtoc I, Exxon Valdez, Cosco Busan, Deepwater Horizon, and Refugio) using traditional and un-traditional oil spill forensic compounds in order to gain a more complete understanding of (a) which compounds persist in the environment and (b) how we can use high resolution techniques to forensically identify specific petroleum sources.