Krogh, Erik

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    [Post-print] Direct mass spectrometric analysis of naphthenic acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in waters impacted by diluted bitumen and conventional crude oil
    (Elsevier, 2021-04-15) Monaghan, Joseph; Richards, Larissa C.; Vandergrift, Gregory W.; Hounjet, Lindsay J.; Stoyanov, Stanislav R.; Gill, Chris G.; Krogh, Erik T.
    Crude oil spills have well-documented, deleterious impacts on the hydrosphere. In addition to macroscopic effects on wildlife and waterscapes, several classes of petroleum derived compounds, such as naphthenic acids (NAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), may be released into the water and present aquatic contamination hazards. The concentrations of these contaminants may be affected by both oil type and water chemistry. We characterize the concentrations of NAs and PAHs in natural and constructed waters, spanning a range of pH and salinity, and directly compare the influence of diluted bitumen (DB) and conventional crude (CC) oil, using condensed-phase membrane introduction mass spectrometry (CP-MIMS) as a direct sampling, on-line technique. The concentration and isomer class profiles of classical NAs in the aqueous phase were assessed using electrospray ionization in negative-ion mode as [M-H]− whereas PAH concentrations were monitored using liquid electron ionization (LEI) in positive-ion mode as [M+•]. NA concentrations (0.03–25 ppm) were highly pH-dependent, and an order of magnitude greater in water samples contaminated with DB than CC. Conversely, concentrations of naphthalene (10–130 ppb) and alkyl-naphthalenes (10–90 ppb) were three to four-fold higher in water samples exposed to CC. We demonstrate that naturally occurring dissolved organic matter does not bias results from the membrane sampling approach employed, and that DB and CC contaminated waters can be differentiated using principal component analysis of the NA isomer class distribution in both constructed and natural waters. Finally, we describe the first demonstration of the concurrent analysis of trace NAs and PAHs in the same water sample by controlling perm-selectivity at the membrane and the ionization mode of the mass spectrometer. The techniques employed here for trace analysis of petroleum derived compounds in water can be applied to rapid screening and real-time monitoring of contamination and remediation processes.
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    Online membrane sampling for the mass spectrometric analysis of oil sands process affected water-derived naphthenic acids in real-world samples
    (MDPI, 2023-04) Monaghan, Joseph; Steenis, Dylan; Vander Meulen, Ian J.; Peru, Kerry M.; Headley, John V.; Gill, Chris G.; Krogh, Erik T.
    Large volumes of oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) result from heavy oil extraction in Alberta, Canada. Currently, a toxic legacy of ca. 500 Mm3 is stored in tailings ponds under a zero-discharge policy. OSPW is a complex mixture of suspended and dissolved materials including a wide range of inorganic and organic contaminants. Classically defined naphthenic acids (NAs; CnH2n+ZO2) are one of the primary toxic fractions in OSPW and have therefore been the subject of considerable research interest. Most studies employ considerable sample cleanup followed by liquid chromatography and/or high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for the characterization of these complex mixtures. However, these strategies can be time- and cost-intensive, limiting the scope of research and adoption for regulatory purposes. Condensed phase membrane introduction mass spectrometry (CP-MIMS) is emerging as a “fit-for-purpose” approach for the analysis of NAs. This technique directly interfaces the mass spectrometer with an aqueous sample using a hydrophobic semi-permeable membrane, requiring only pH adjustment to convert NAs to a membrane-permeable form. Here, we examine the perm-selectivity of classical NAs (O2) relative to their more oxidized counterparts (O3–O7) and heteroatomic (N, S) species collectively termed naphthenic acid fraction compounds (NAFCs). The investigation of 14 model compounds revealed that classically defined NAs are greater than 50-fold more membrane permeable than their oxidized/heteroatomic analogs. HRMS analysis of real OSPW extracts with and without membrane clean-up further supported selectivity towards the toxic O2 class of NAs, with >85% of the overall signal intensity attributable to O2 NAs in the membrane permeate despite as little as 34.7 0.6% O2 NAs observed in the directly infused mixture. The information collected with HRMS is leveraged to refine our method for analysis of NAs at unit mass resolution. This new method is applied to 28 archived real-world samples containing NAs/NAFCs from constructed wetlands, OSPW, and environmental monitoring campaigns. Concentrations ranged from 0–25 mg/L O2 NAs and the results measured by CP-MIMS (unit mass) and SPE-HRMS (Orbitrap) showed good agreement (slope = 0.80; R2 = 0.76).
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    A passive membrane system for on-line mass spectrometry reagent addition
    (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2023-04-30) Zarkovic, Taelor M.; Borden, Scott A.; Krogh, Erik T.; Gill, Chris G.
    Rationale: Post-separation addition of chemical modifiers in liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry is widely used for improving ionization sensitivity and selectivity. This is typically accomplished using a post-column T-junction, which can result in sample dilution and imperfect mixing. We present a passive semi-permeable hollow fiber membrane approach for the addition of chemical modifiers that avoids these issues. Methods: Model compounds were directly infused by flow injection to an electrospray ionization triple quadrupole mass spectrometer after passing through a polydimethylsiloxane hollow fiber membrane. Ionization enhancement reagents were introduced into the flowing stream by membrane permeation from aqueous solutions. Ionization enhancement from volatile acids and bases in positive and negative electrospray ionization was evaluated to assess the feasibility of this approach. Results: The membrane-based apparatus resulted in relative ionization enhancement factors of up to 14×, depending upon the analyte, reagent, and ionization mode used. Ionization enhancement signal stability is reasonable (relative standard deviation of 5–7%) for extended periods from the same reagent solution, and minimal analyte dilution is observed. A proof-of-concept demonstration of the chromatographic “trifluoroacetic acid fix” strategy is presented. Conclusions: An on-line mass spectrometry ionization reagent addition method with potential post-chromatography reagent addition applications was developed using a hollow fiber polydimethylsiloxane membrane. This approach offers a promising alternative to traditional methods requiring additional hardware such as pumps and T-junctions that can result in sample dilution and imperfect reagent mixing.
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    Membrane sampling separates naphthenic acids from biogenic dissolved organic matter for direct analysis by mass spectrometry
    (ACS Publications, 2022-03-01) Duncan, Kyle D.; Hawkes, Jeffrey A.; Berg, Mykelti; Clarijs, Bas; Gill, Chris G.; Bergquist, Jonas; Lanekoff, Ingela; Krogh, Erik T.
    Oil sands process waters can release toxic naphthenic acids (NAs) into aquatic environments. Analytical techniques for NAs are challenged by sample complexity and interference from naturally occurring dissolved organic matter (DOM). Herein, we report the use of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) polymer membrane for the on-line separation of NAs from DOM and use direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry to yield meaningful qualitative and quantitative information with minimal sample cleanup. We compare the composition of membrane-permeable species from natural waters fortified with a commercial NA mixture to those derived from weak anion exchange solid-phase extraction (SPE) using high-resolution mass spectrometry. The results show that SPE retains a wide range of carboxylic acids, including biogenic DOM, while permeation through PDMS was selective for petrogenic classically defined NAs (CnH2n+zO2). A series of model compounds (log Kow ∼1–7) were used to characterize the perm-selectivity and reveal the separation is based on hydrophobicity. This convenient sample cleanup method is selective for the O2 class of NAs and can be used prior to conventional analysis or as an on-line analytical strategy when coupled directly to mass spectrometry.
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    Measurement of diacetyl and related compounds in coffee roasteries and breweries
    (Oxford University Press, 2022-06) Davey, Nicholas G.; Richards, Larissa C.; Davidson, Jonathan; Michalchuk, Trevor; Gill, Chris G.; Krogh, Erik T.; Simpson, Christopher D.
    α-Diketones such as diacetyl (2,3-butanedione) and 2,3-pentanedione are generated during the roasting and fermentation of foods and are also used as flavoring compounds. Exposure to these compounds has been associated with obliterative bronchiolitis in workers. We report indoor air concentrations of diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione, as well as acetoin (3-hydroxy-2-butanone), in several small coffee roasteries and breweries using standard integrated air sampling sorbent tubes followed by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry as well as the first use of on-site continuous real-time proton-transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione were detected in most of the sorbent samples at concentrations between 0.02 and 8 ppbv, and in general were higher in coffee roasteries compared with breweries. Three integrated air samples, all from the barista area at one facility, exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) of 5 ppbv for diacetyl. 2,3-Pentanedione concentrations in these three samples were greater than 50% of its REL, but did not exceed it. Acetoin, a precursor to diacetyl, was also detected at concentrations between 0.03 and 5 ppbv in most sorbent tube samples, with concentrations generally higher in breweries. PTR-ToF-MS measurements exhibited similar trends and provided continuous real-time volatile organic compound data that showed episodic excursions with peak concentrations of diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione between 15 and 20 ppbv. Examination of the time series data identified specific activities associated with peak diketone emissions, including transfer of freshly roasted coffee beans to the cooling tray, or the opening of a brew kettle. Additional indoor air quality parameters including CO2, NO2, and PM2.5 were also assessed on-site. Airway inflammation was assessed in 19 workers before and after each work shift using online measurements of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO). The pre-shift mean FENO was 3.7 (95% confidence interval: −3.6, 11.0) ppbv higher and the post-shift FENO was 7.1 (−1.9, 16.1) ppbv higher for workers at coffee roasteries compared with breweries. The cross-shift change in FENO was 3.4 (−2.8, 9.6) ppbv higher for workers at coffee roasteries compared with breweries. However, none of these differences were statistically significant, and the cross-shift change in FENO was not statistically different from zero for either group of workers. The findings from this pilot study demonstrate that α-diketones and related compounds are present in the indoor air of both breweries and coffee roasteries and may exceed health protective guidelines in coffee roasteries. Additional studies are required to fully characterize worker exposures in these settings and to identify specific work activities and processes associated with high exposures. Engineering controls, including targeted exhaust ventilation and the use of low-cost sensors, are recommended as an approach to protect workers from exposure to hazardous levels of α-diketones.