Data Processing Workflow to Identify Structurally Related Compounds in Petroleum Substances Using Ion Mobility Spectrometry–Mass Spectrometry Academic Article uri icon


  • Ion mobility spectrometry coupled with mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) is a post-ionization separation technique that can be used for rapid multidimensional analyses of complex samples. IMS-MS offers untargeted analysis, including ion-specific conformational data derived as collisional cross section (CCS) values. Here, we combine nitrogen gas drift tube CCS (DTCCSN2) and Kendrick mass defect (KMD) analyses based on CH2 and H functional units to enable compositional analyses of petroleum substances. First, polycyclic aromatic compound standards were analyzed by IMS-MS to demonstrate how CCS assists the identification of isomeric species in homologous series. Next, we used case studies of a gasoline standard previously characterized for paraffin, isoparaffin, aromatic, naphthene, and olefinic (PIANO) compounds, and a crude oil sample to demonstrate the application of the KMD analyses and CCS filtering. Finally, we propose a workflow that enables confident molecular formula assignment to the IMS-MS-derived features in petroleum samples. Collectively, this work demonstrates how rapid untargeted IMS-MS analysis and the proposed data processing workflow can be used to provide confident compositional characterization of hydrocarbon-containing substances.

published proceedings

  • Energy & Fuels

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Roman-Hubers, A. T., Cordova, A. C., Aly, N. A., McDonald, T. J., Lloyd, D. T., Wright, F. A., ... Rusyn, I.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Roman-Hubers, Alina T||Cordova, Alexandra C||Aly, Noor A||McDonald, Thomas J||Lloyd, Dillon T||Wright, Fred A||Baker, Erin S||Chiu, Weihsueh A||Rusyn, Ivan

publication date

  • July 2021