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RSS FeedsMolecules, Vol. 27, Pages 8600: The Use of Polydialkylsiloxanes/Triflic Acid as Derivatization Agents in the Analysis of Sulfur-Containing Aromatics by “Soft”-Ionization Mass Spectrometry (Molecules)

 
 

6 december 2022 10:23:54

 
Molecules, Vol. 27, Pages 8600: The Use of Polydialkylsiloxanes/Triflic Acid as Derivatization Agents in the Analysis of Sulfur-Containing Aromatics by “Soft”-Ionization Mass Spectrometry (Molecules)
 


Polycyclic aromatic sulfur-containing compounds are widely distributed in oil, especially in its low-volatile and heavy fractions (resins, asphaltenes), and this dictates the need for their determination when reliable methods for sulfur removing, cleaning and processing oil are developed. In these cases, “soft” ionization mass spectrometry methods, based on electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI), are particularly effective. However, aromatic sulfur-containing compounds have low polarity and cannot be readily ionized by these methods. To overcome the problem, their preliminary conversion into sulfonium salts by the action of alkyl iodides and a silver-containing agent is widely used. In the process of developing more economical derivatization methods, we found a rather unexpected possibility of implementing S -alkylation of organic sulfides with commercial polydialkylsiloxanes (alkyl = CH3 or C2H5) in the presence of triflic acid (CF3SO3H) as a superacid co-alkylating agent. For homologous dibenzothiophenes as a typical model representative of petroleum sulfur-containing aromatic compounds, ESI and MALDI mass spectra exhibited the signals of corresponding S-alkylsulfonium salts with a high signal-to-noise ratio. A rational mechanism for the described chemical transformation is proposed, including the indispensable activation by triflic acid and the cleavage of the Si-C bond. Specific collision-induced dissociation of corresponding S-alkylated sulfonium cations is considered. The applicability of the derivatization approach to the analysis of petroleum products by high-resolution mass spectrometry is demonstrated.


 
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