Complementary use of capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (ion trap) and gas chromatography–inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for the speciation of volatile antimony, tin and bismuth compounds in landfill and fermentation gases

J Feldmann, I Koch, W R Cullen

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45 Citations (Scopus)


ICP-MS is very sensitive and has limited matrix effects when used as an element-specific detector for GC in order to identify volatile metal or metalloid species, GC-MS is not very sensitive or selective in the electron ionization (EI) mode, but provides molecular information about volatile species. In this work, an ion trap EI-MS-MS and an ICP-MS system were used as two different detectors for the same GC system to provide complementary information about volatile organometallic species in the complex matrices of landfill and sewage sludge fermentation gases. A simple robust GC separation method with cryotrapping was adequate for the separation of the different metal(loid) containing volatile compounds, and was directly coupled to the ICP-MS system, In addition, gas samples from this GC system were collected in evacuated vials. These fractions were further separated on a capillary column and detected in an ion trap mass spectrometer. For the first time, parent ions, fragmentation patterns, isotopic ratios for Sb and Sn, and MS-MS data were used to identify positively Me3Sb, Me4Sn and Et2Me2Sn in landfill gas and Me3Sb and Me3Bi in fermentation gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-820
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


  • landfill gas
  • fermentation gas
  • gas chromatography-inductively coupled mass spectrometry
  • ion trap mass spectrometry
  • volatile organometallics
  • trimethylbismuthine
  • trimethylstibine
  • volatile organotin compounds
  • waste deposits
  • metal
  • elements
  • MS

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