Analysis of bio-derived platform chemicals in ionic liquid media by desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

Parsons, Valerie H. (2015) Analysis of bio-derived platform chemicals in ionic liquid media by desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this work, desorption/ionization mass spectrometry was employed for the analysis of sugars and small platform chemicals that are common intermediates in biomass transformation reactions. Specifically, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) mass spectrometric techniques were employed as alternatives to traditional chromatographic methods. Ionic liquid matrices (ILMs) were designed based on traditional solid MALDI matrices (2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) and α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA)) and 1,3-dialkylimidazolium ionic liquids ([BMIM]Cl, [EMIM]Cl, and [EMIM]OAc) that have been employed as reaction media for biomass transformation reactions such as the conversion of carbohydrates to valuable platform chemicals. Although two new ILMs were synthesized ([EMIM][DHB] and [EMIM][CHCA] from [EMIM]OAc), chloride-containing ILs did not react with matrices and resulted in mixtures of IL and matrix in solution. Compared to the parent solid matrices, much less matrix interference was observed in the low mass region of the mass spectrum (< 500 Da) using each of the IL-matrices. Furthermore, the formation of a true ILM (i.e. a new ion pair) does not appear to be necessary for analyte ionization. MALDI sample preparation techniques were optimized based on the compatibility with analyte, IL and matrix. ILMs and IL-matrix mixtures of DHB allowed for qualitative analysis of glucose, fructose, sucrose and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Analogous CHCA-containing ILMs did not result in appreciable analyte signals under similar conditions. Small platform compounds such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and levulinic acid were not detected by direct analysis using MALDI-MS. Furthermore, sugar analyte signals were only detected at relatively high matrix:IL:analyte ratios (1:1:1) due to significant matrix and analyte suppression by the IL ions. Therefore, chemical modification of analytes with glycidyltrimethylammonium chloride (GTMA) was employed to extend this method to quantitative applications. Derivatization was accomplished in aqueous IL solutions with fair reaction efficiencies (36.9 – 48.4 % glucose conversion). Calibration curves of derivatized glucose-GTMA yielded good linearity in all solvent systems tested, with decreased % RSDs of analyte ion signals in IL solutions as compared to purely aqueous systems (1.2 – 7.2 % and 4.2 – 8.7 %, respectively). Derivatization resulted in a substantial increase in sensitivity for MALDI-MS analyses: glucose was reliably detected at IL:analyte ratios of 100:1 (as compared to 1:1 prior to derivatization). Screening of all test analytes resulted in appreciable analyte signals in MALDI-MS spectra, including both HMF and levulinic acid. Using appropriate internal standards, calibration curves were constructed and this method was employed for monitoring a model dehydration reaction of fructose to HMF in [BMIM]Cl. Calibration curves showed wide dynamic ranges (LOD – 100 ng fructose/μg [BMIM]Cl, LOD – 75 ng HMF/μg [BMIM]Cl) with correlation coefficients of 0.9973 (fructose) and 0.9931 (HMF). LODs were estimated from the calibration data to be 7.2 ng fructose/μg [BMIM]Cl and 7.5 ng HMF/μg [BMIM]Cl, however relatively high S/N ratios at these concentrations indicate that these values are likely overestimated. Application of this method allowed for the rapid acquisition of quantitative data without the need for prior separation of analyte and IL. Finally, small molecule platform chemicals HMF and levulinic acid were qualitatively analyzed by DESI-MS. Both HMF and levulinic acid were easily ionized and the corresponding molecular ions were easily detected in the presence of 10 – 100 times IL, without the need for chemical modification prior to analysis. DESI-MS analysis of ILs in positive and negative ion modes resulted in few ions in the low mass region, showing great potential for the analysis of small molecules in IL media.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11939
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: ionic liquid, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry, desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, platform chemical, green analytical chemistry
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Chemistry
Date: December 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Biomass chemicals--Analysis; Intermediates (Chemistry)--Analysis; Matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization; Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

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