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The current status and prospective developments in the mass spectrometry of hydrocarbons is discussed in terms of (1) instrumentation and (2) analysis of hydrocarbons. The most widely used mass spectrometer is the general analytical spectrometer, which has an upper mass limit of about 600, and can be equipped to analyze gas Chromatographic fractions. High resolution, double focusing instruments which have an upper mass limit of about 2000, are being used in a rapidly expanding number of laboratories. Correlative behavior and other aspects of mass spectra are reviewed. Examples are cited to illustrate how these data are used for identification. Mass spectra were instrumental in elucidating the structure of numerous of C20–C35 isoparaffins, cycloparaffins, and alkylbenzenes. Two applications of hydrocarbon type analysis are illustrated: Compositional information for (1) an α-olefin mixture and (2) concentrates of aromatic hydrocarbons. Continued extension of the mass spectrometer appears to depend upon improved instrumentation, more efficient separation techniques, and expanded mass spectral data.
mass spectrometers, molecular structure, hydrocarbons, olefins, aromatic compounds, identification, chemical analysis
Brown, R. A.
Research Associate, Esso Research and Engineering Company, Linden, New Jersey