Surfactants are surface-active agents widely used in numerous applications in our daily lives as personal care products, domestic, and industrial detergents. To determine complex mixtures of surfactants and their degradation products, unselective and rather insensitive methods, based on colorimetric and complexometric analyses are no longer employable. Analytical methodologies able to determine low concentration levels of surfactants and closely related compounds in complex matrices are required. The recent introduction of robust, sensitive, and selective mass spectrometry (MS) techniques has led to the rapid expansion of the surfactant research field including complex mixtures of isomers, oligomers, and homologues of surfactants as well as their chemically and biodegradation products at trace levels. In this review, emphasis is given to the state-of-the-art MS-based analysis of surfactants and their degradation products with an overview of the current research landscape from traditional methods involving hyphenate techniques (gas chromatography-MS and liquid chromatography-MS) to the most innovative approaches, based on high-resolution MS. Finally, we outline a detailed explanation on the utilization of MS for mechanistic purposes, such as the study of micelle formation in different solvents.

Analysis of surfactants by mass spectrometry: Coming to grips with their diversity

Bianco, G
2021

Abstract

Surfactants are surface-active agents widely used in numerous applications in our daily lives as personal care products, domestic, and industrial detergents. To determine complex mixtures of surfactants and their degradation products, unselective and rather insensitive methods, based on colorimetric and complexometric analyses are no longer employable. Analytical methodologies able to determine low concentration levels of surfactants and closely related compounds in complex matrices are required. The recent introduction of robust, sensitive, and selective mass spectrometry (MS) techniques has led to the rapid expansion of the surfactant research field including complex mixtures of isomers, oligomers, and homologues of surfactants as well as their chemically and biodegradation products at trace levels. In this review, emphasis is given to the state-of-the-art MS-based analysis of surfactants and their degradation products with an overview of the current research landscape from traditional methods involving hyphenate techniques (gas chromatography-MS and liquid chromatography-MS) to the most innovative approaches, based on high-resolution MS. Finally, we outline a detailed explanation on the utilization of MS for mechanistic purposes, such as the study of micelle formation in different solvents.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/156170
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