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Comparison of Solvent Elimination Systems for the Analysis of Dyes and Pesticides by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry

Volume 53, Number 7 (July 1999) Page 792-799

Jones, Joanna C.; Littlejohn, David; Griffiths, Peter R.

Two systems have been compared for the on-line production of infrared spectra of compounds separated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). System 1 had a thermospray interface to evaporate the mobile-phase solvents and deposit the solutes onto a moving stainless steel belt, for direct analysis by reflection-absorption IR spectrometry. In system 2, the column effluent was split 1:6 and pumped through an ultrasonic nebulizer. The spray was desolvated at reduced pressure in a heated transfer tube and the solutes deposited onto a ZnSe window for direct analysis by transmission IR spectrometry. When system 1 was used for the analysis of reactive dyes, eluent containing ammonium acetate caused a large background spectrum, as a film of unknown composition was formed on the surface of the stainless steel belt. An alternative procedure, without ammonium acetate, was developed with a mixed-mode column containing C18 and cation exchange particles, but variable retention times were obtained. System 2 could be used satisfactorily with eluents containing ammonium acetate, and it produced dye spectra of better resolution than those obtained with system 1. When the dyes were examined under a microscope, the material on the ZnSe window was more uniform and more evenly distributed on a narrower track than were the deposits on the stainless steel belt. Consequently, the peak shape of the IR chromatograms was better with system 2, and a lower detection limit was achieved for reactive blue 74 (9 ng). When mixtures of the pesticides metolcarb and carbofuran were analyzed, a thermospray temperature of 196 degrees C was required to desolvate the effluent from the HPLC column in system 1. At this temperature, thermal degradation of the pesticides occurred, and no spectrum was recorded from the belt surface. However, with system 2, deposition of the pesticides was achieved at 90 degrees C, without degradation, and IR spectra/chromatograms were obtained. Overall, the study showed that the infrared chromatograph (IRC) was the more efficient and flexible interface for HPLC Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry.