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Analysis of Nitrogen for Small Concentrations of Carbon Monoxide by Mass Spectrometry

Volume 14, Number 3 (June 1960) Page 79-80

Schacher, George P.; Rippere, Ralph E.; Hill, Joseph A.


Due to coincidence of major peaks of nitrogen and carbon monoxide at mass 28, analysis of combustion gases for carbon monoxide content becomes difficult at concentrations below 5%. Measurement of the relative concentrations is then dependent upon the mass 12 and 14 peaks. With the General Electric Analytical Mass Spectrometer, the carbon monoxide mass 14 peak is approximately 1/200th and the mass 12 peak approximately 1/100th of the mass 28 peak. The nitrogen mass 14 peak is approximately 1/20th of the mass 28 peak. Thus, a small concentration of carbon monoxide in any nitrogen containing sample is not easily and accurately measurable. Chemical conversion of the carbon monoxide to some other gas could facilitate such analyses.