• Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry applied to Gulf oil spill
    Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is being used to look for PAHs in Gulf seafood

GC, MDGC

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry applied to Gulf oil spill

Jul 29 2010

The technology of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is being used to analyse the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico from BP's failed Deepwater Horizon rig.

Agilent Technologies and Mississippi State University are using a gas chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS) approach to determine the impact of the leaked oil on seafood sourced from the affected region.

Mike McMullen, president of Agilent's chemical analysis group, explains that the company responded promptly to news of the spill to produce "turnkey" GC-MS-MS solutions for better analytical performance.

For the university, meanwhile, the new equipment replaces a decade-old system that, due to significant levels of usage and its age, has become unreliable.

The GC-MS-MS analysis is to be used to analyse seafood samples for the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

PAHs are the main form of contamination to occur in seafood retrieved from oil-affected areas, the organisations say, while testing for them must be a precise and repetitive process.

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