Recently we analyzed a process gas sample for a customer who wanted to know what was in it in addition to the expected light hydrocarbons. The customer needed a simple, cost-effective analysis that was also broad-spectrum. Selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) was the obvious choice, because it analyzes air directly, instantaneously, and with very high selectivity.
A portion of the full mass scan data is shown in the figure. SIFT-MS readily detects and identifies reactive small molecules that are difficult to analyze using traditional analytical methods.
In this sample, reduced sulfur compounds (e.g. hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan), aldehydes (e.g. formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and propanal), ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide were all identified. Using the powerful LabSyft software, we subsequently post-processed the full scan data within seconds to derive the concentrations of identified compounds using the in-built quantitation provided by Syft’s compound library.
This customer – and numerous others – have discovered how SIFT-MS provides unparalleled simplicity for detection, identification, and quantitation of reactive small molecules.