The potential of dielectric barrier discharge ionization in liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (CTQ-2012-34297 and FQM-2242)

Recently, a new generation of atmospheric pressure (for LC-MS) and ambient ionization sources, based on dielectric barrier discharge principle has been reported (DBDI-MS). Preliminary studies have revealed very promising studies for different organic compounds with different physicochemical properties such as aminoacids, vitamins, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This opens the possibility of performing in a unique LC-MS run different applications that often requires the combined use of GC-MS and LC-ESI-MS, or alternatively the combined use of different LC-MS ionization sources (CTQ-2012-34297). The direct interrogation of compounds of forensic interest from surfaces such as explosives or drug of abuse are also feasible with the different ambient MS probes under development (FQM-2242).

Novel approaches to overcome the main limitations of liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometry for trace determination of organic contaminants (CTQ-2015-71321-P)

Despite the outstanding potential of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for trace organic contaminants in food and environment, yet presents some drawbacks affecting its performance. Amongst these limitations it should be noted: (a) chromatographic issues when dealing with species with different polarity and/or physical properties limiting their retention in reversed-phase liquid chromatography; (b) Limitations of LC-MS for the detection of nonpolar species or those which are non amenable by electrospray (LC-MS); (c) matrix effects affecting accuracy during quantitation. The aim of this research is to provide novel approaches to increase the performance of LC-MS with a special emphasis on its application to the determination of pesticides and other contaminants in food. The approaches proposed are:

(a) the use of nanoflow liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry (nanoHPLC-HRMS) to provide increased sensitivity to minimize problems associated with matrix effects

(b) the use of parallel chromatographic systems (HILIC/RPLC-HRMS) enabling the simultaneous separation of different species which completely different polarities and/or hydrophobicity,

(c) the evaluation of  DBDI ionization sources with liquid chromatography (LC-µDBDI-MS) to increase sensitivity with previous DBDI approaches, and to expand the array of species that can be analyzed in a single run, including those which require gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

(d) The examination and feasibility study of direct methods for rapid pesticide determination using paperspray ionization mass spectrometry.


CONSOLIDER TRAGUA: Treatment and reuse of wastewater for a sustainable management. Quality control and monitoring of priority and emerging contaminants by mass spectrometric methods

The recent European Water Framework Directive (WFD; Directive 2000/60/CE) establishes a framework for Community action in the field of water policy has set a list of priority compounds to be monitored in water in order to evaluate their levels. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the presence of such compounds in different wastewater treatment plants and assess the effectiveness of the current wastewater treatment technologies to eliminate their presence. Samples of different origin (industrial, coastal and urban) are provided by several wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located throughout Spain. Several mass spectrometric techniques are being used to perform this study, according to compounds’ chemical characteristics: Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) is used for the direct analysis of heavy metals (ca. Hg, Cd, Pb and Ni); Gas Chromatography (GC) with electron capture detection (ECD) and mass spectrometric detectors (GC-MS) are used for the analysis of organic pollutants and, liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is used for non-volatile analytes (ca. selected priority pesticides, surfactants and plasticizers). Prior to GC-MS and LC-MS measurements, a solid phase extraction (SPE) step is performed to isolate the target species (CONSOLIDER 2010 Ref. CSD2006-00044 and CTM-2014-53485-REDC).


Quality control and food safety of extra virgin olive oil (CEOyAO)

Extra-virgin olive oil quality depends on many factors across the production, from harvesting, to the extraction of the oil in olive mills. The development of methods to control the absence of residues (food safety) from agrochemicals and the determination of active compounds with antioxidant capacity (polyphenols, tocopherols, etc) are of remarkable interest.

Archaeometry (Development of methods for the detection of trace organics of archaeological interest form Iberian origin (in collaboration with University Research Institute for Iberian Archaeology)

 The profiling of lipids as chemical markers of the food consumed by Iberians (Centuries VII-I bC). Amongst the compounds studied are worth to mention triacylglycerides, fatty acids, waxes and tartaric acid. These are markers of the use of vegetal and animal origin fats, honey or wine.


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Última actualización: 24 March 2017