Applications of capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry for the analysis of thiosalts

Pappoe, Michael (2014) Applications of capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry for the analysis of thiosalts. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Thiosalt species are unstable, partially oxidized sulfur oxyanions formed in sulfur-rich environments but also during the flotation and milling of sulfidic minerals especially those containing pyrite (FeS₂) and pyrrhotite (Fe₍₁₋ₓ₎S, x = 0 to 0.2). Detecting and quantifying the major thiosalt species such as sulfate (SO₄²⁻), thiosulfate (S₂O₃²⁻), trithionate (S₃O₆²⁻), tetrathionate (S₄O₆²⁻) and higher polythionates (SₓO₆²⁻, where 3 ≤ x ≤ 10) in the milling process and in the treated tailings is important to understand how thiosalts are generated and provides insight into potential treatment. As these species are unstable, a fast and reliable analytical technique is required for their analysis. Three capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) methods using indirect UV-vis detection were developed for the simultaneous separation and determination of five thiosalt anions: SO₄²⁻, S₂O₃²⁻, S₃O₆²⁻, S₄O₆²⁻ and S₅O₆²⁻. Both univariate and multivariate experimental design approaches were used to optimize the most critical factors (background electrolyte (BGE) and instrumental conditions) to achieve fast separation and quantitative analysis of the thiosalt species. The mathematically predicted responses for the multivariate experiments were in good agreement with the experimental results. Limits of detection (LODs) (S/N = 3) for the methods were between 0.09 and 0.34 μg/mL without a sample stacking technique and nearly four-fold increase in LODs with the application of field-amplified sample stacking. As direct analysis of thiosalts by mass spectrometry (MS) is limited by their low m/z values and detection in negative mode electrospray ionization (ESI), which is typically less sensitive than positive ESI, imidazolium-based (IP-L-Imid and IP-T-Imid) and phosphonium-based (IP-T-Phos) tricationic ion-pairing reagents were used to form stable high mass ions non-covalent +1 ion-pairs with these species for ESI-MS analysis and the association constants (Kassoc) determined for these ion-pairs. Kassoc values were between 6.85 × 10² M⁻¹ and 3.56 × 10⁵ M⁻¹ with the linear IP-L-Imid; 1.89 ×10³ M⁻¹ and 1.05 × 10⁵ M⁻¹ with the trigonal IP-T-Imid ion-pairs; and 7.51×10² M⁻¹ and 4.91× 10⁴ M⁻¹ with the trigonal IP-T-Phos ion-pairs. The highest formation constants were obtained for S₃O₆²⁻ and the imidazolium-based linear ion-pairing reagent (IP-L-Imid), whereas the lowest were for IP-L-Imid: SO₄²⁻ ion-pair.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 8290
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Chemistry
Date: November 2014
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Sulphur compounds--Analysis; Sulphur compounds--Properties; Capillary electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry

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