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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5960916, 12 pages
Research Article

Gas Chromatography/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization-Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry of Pyrolysis Oil from German Brown Coal

1Institute of Analytical Chemistry, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
2German Centre for Energy Resources, Reiche Zeche, Fuchsmuehlenweg 9, 09599 Freiberg, Germany

Received 15 December 2015; Accepted 23 February 2016

Academic Editor: Jan Åke Jönsson

Copyright © 2016 Jan Zuber et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pyrolysis oil from the slow pyrolysis of German brown coal from Schöningen, obtained at a temperature of 500°C, was separated and analyzed using hyphenation of gas chromatography with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source operated in negative ion mode and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-FT-ICR-MS). Development of this ultrahigh-resolving analysis method is described, that is, optimization of specific GC and APCI parameters and performed data processing. The advantages of GC-APCI-FT-ICR-MS hyphenation, for example, soft ionization, ultrahigh-resolving detection, and most important isomer separation, were demonstrated for the sample liquid. For instance, it was possible to separate and identify nine different propylphenol, ethylmethylphenol, and trimethylphenol isomers. Furthermore, homologous series of different acids, for example, alkyl and alkylene carboxylic acids, were verified, as well as homologous series of alkyl phenols, alkyl dihydroxy benzenes, and alkoxy alkyl phenols.