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Identification of a fuel released into the environment can be difficult due to biodegradation or weathering. Negative electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry was used to screen for unique polar components in a wide variety of commercial hydrocarbon products and mixtures. These fuels produced unique and relatively simple spectra. When applied to hydrocarbon samples from a large, long-term fuel spill in a relatively cool climate in which the alkane, isoprenoid, and alkylcyclohexane portions had begun to biodegrade or weather, the polar components in these samples had changed little over time. This technique provided rapid fuel identification on hydrocarbons released into the environment, without sample preparation,...
Solvent dyes are used to color refined petroleum products to enable differentiation between gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. Analysis for these dyes in the hydrocarbon product is difficult due to their very low concentrations in such a complex matrix. Flow injection analysis/electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry in both negative and positive mode was used to optimize ionization of ten typical solvent dyes. Samples of hydrocarbon product were analyzed under similar conditions. Positive electrospray ionization produced very complex spectra, which were not suitably specific for targeting only the dyes. Negative electrospray ionization produced simple spectra because aliphatic and aromatic moieties were not ionized....