In situ analysis of corrosion inhibitors using a portable mass spectrometer with paper spray ionization

Fred Paul Mark Jjunju, Anyin Li, Abraham K. Badu-Tawiah, Pu Wei, Linfan Li, Zheng Ouyang, Iman S. Roqan, Robert Graham Cooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Paper spray (PS) ambient ionization is implemented using a portable mass spectrometer and applied to the detection of alkyl quaternary ammonium salts in a complex oil matrix. These salts are commonly used as active components in the formulation of corrosion inhibitors. They were identified in oil and confirmed by their fragmentation patterns recorded using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The cations of alkyl and benzyl-substituted quaternary ammonium salts showed characteristic neutral losses of CnH2n (n carbon number of the longest chain) and C7H8, respectively. Individual quaternary ammonium compounds were detected at low concentrations (<1 ng μL-1) and over a dynamic range of ∼5 pg μL-1 to 500 pg μL-1 (ppb). Direct detection of these compounds in complex oil samples without prior sample preparation or pre-concentration was also demonstrated using a home-built miniature mass spectrometer at levels below 1 ng μL-1.© 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3740
JournalThe Analyst
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We acknowledge financial support from the Separations and Analysis Program, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy, DE-FG02-06ER15807. Financial support was also provided by the US National Science Foundation (CHE 0848650). Fred. P. M. Jjunju thanks King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Thuwal Saudi Arabia for a fellowship.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry


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