Close Btn

Select Your Regional site


Petroleum and Petrochemical Solutions with JMS-T2000GC AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha high-performance gas chromatograph - time-of-flight mass spectrometer

A High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer for Petroleum Applications!

The JMS-T2000GC AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha is a superior gas chromatograph - high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer (GC-HRTOFMS) system that simultaneously accomplishes high mass-resolution analysis, high mass accuracy, and high-speed data acquisition that satisfies all your needs for petroleum and petrochemical analyses.

Soft Ionization Techniques

Softest Ionization: FI for GC and FD for Direct MS

Field Ionization (FI) and Field Desorption (FD) are well suited for hydrocarbon analysis, because they generate molecular ions for almost all compounds with minimal fragmentation including saturated hydrocarbons!
FI is for volatile and semi-volatile analytes eluted from GC.
FD is a direct MS method suitable for high-boiling point analytes, since the sample is directly applied to the FD emitter and does not have to be vaporized.
JEOL's unique EI/FI/FD combination ion source allows switching between EI, FI and FD without breaking vacuum in the ion source chamber.

Good for Aromatic Hydrocarbons: PI for GC

While FI is still the softest ionization technique available, Photoionization (PI) can also be used to generate molecular ions for many analytes including hydrocarbons. In particular, aromatic hydrocarbons, which strongly absorb UV light, are preferentially ionized with PI.
JEOL's unique EI/PI combination ion source allows switching between EI and PI with no physical user intervention.

Gas-Chromatographic Techniques

Group-type analysis with no GC separation

The high mass resolution and soft ionization capabilities of the AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha allow comprehensive group-type analysis without any chromatographic separation. Sample introduction through the GC injection port and a non-separating column (blank tube) followed by FI is appropriate for a wide range of hydrocarbon mixtures. For heavy fractions that contain only high-boiling point components (b.p. higher than 300℃), FD, a direct MS method, would be a better option.

One-dimensional GC

AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha is compatible with a wide range of one-dimensional GC conditions from long (up to 100 m), ultra-high separation columns designed for detailed hydrocarbon analysis (DHA), to ordinary 25-60 m columns and short (5 to 10 m), narrow bore (0.1 to 0.15 mm I.D.) columns for fast analysis.

Comprehensive two-dimensional GC: GCxGC

Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) consists of two different types of columns that are connected via a modulator within the same GC oven. The AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha system with its high-speed data acquisition capability (up to 50 spectra/s) can be used as a GCxGC detector.

Analysis of Crude Oil

Crude oil is a highly complex mixture - it is not possible to obtain all the necessary information from a single analysis. The blank tube FI method allows comprehensive hydrocarbon group-type analysis with measurement times of 1 minute or less. With GC-EI/FI analysis, minor components with heteroatoms can be determined. Finally, with comprehensive two-dimensional GC, the most comprehensive information for the sample can be determined.

Group-type analysis by Blank Tube FI and FD

The blank tube FI method is appropriate for a wide range of hydrocarbon mixtures. FD, a direct MS method, is useful for analyzing high boiling-point compounds that cannot pass through the column.

KMD Analysis Software

msRepeatFinder can visualize soft ionization mass spectra of highly complex hydrocarbon mixtures using KMD (Kendrick mass defect) plots.
KMD plots make it possible to group hydrocarbons with different degrees of unsaturation and easily calculate the number average molecular weight, weight average molecular weight, polydispersity, etc. for each group.

One-dimensional GC-EI/FI Analysis

Using an EI/FI/FD combination ion source, GC-EI and GC-FI data can be measured without breaking vacuum in the ion source chamber. Integrated analysis is possible when combining hard ionization (EI) data with soft ionization (FI) data. The AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha is compatible with a wide range of GC conditions from fast separation with a short, narrow-bore column to high-resolution separation with a 100 m column, as shown below.

msFineAnalysis AI
Unknown Compounds Structure Analysis Software

msFineAnalysis AI automatically performs deconvolution peak detection, integrated analysis of GC-EI and GC-FI measurement results, and AI structural analysis.
Most of the 206 detected components were hydrocarbons (C and H only), but integrated analysis found a sulfur compound, and AI structural analysis suggested it to be an alkylated dibenzothiophene.

Screenshot of msFineAnalysis AI

Comprehensive two-dimensional GC (GCxGC): the ultimate chromatographic separation technique

GCxGC Technique

GCxGC is a powerful capillary GC technique that uses two GC columns with different polarities in series. The eluted components from the 1st column are trapped and then released at specified intervals into the 2nd column using a modulator between the two columns. High-speed data acquisition is used to detect the components separated by the 2nd column. This technique requires a detector capable of high-speed data acquisition because the peak widths in the chromatograms are extremely sharp compared to traditional capillary GC. It is possible to do group analysis of sample components in GCxGC/MS data.

The AccuTOFTM GC-Alpha enables accurate mass measurement using EI, FI, PI, and CI methods, while acquiring as many as 50 spectra per second. This is especially effective for nontargeted qualitative analysis of trace components.

GCxGC/FI TICC for a diesel fuel

GCxGC/FI TICC for a crude oil

Note: Zoex's GCxGC system is provided and supported through Zoex's sales and support network and may not be available in your territory. Contact your local JEOL representative for details.

Biomarker Analysis

Fragment ions from electron ionization (EI) can cause interferences for biomarker detection. For example, fragments resulting from loss of a methyl group have isotope peaks that can be confused with molecular ions from related compounds. FI solves this problem because it does not produce the fragment ions. We clearly identified 20 isomers of cholestane C27H48 in a crude oil sample by GCxGC/FI. The GCxGC/FI extracted ion chromatograms made it easy to interpret the data and correctly assign the biomarker peaks.

GCxGC/FI EIC for C27H48 molecular ion in a crude oil

FI mass spectrum of #16

GCxGC/FI Type Analysis

Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) in combination with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is a powerful tool for the analysis of complex mixtures. Field ionization (FI) is a soft ionization technique that is well suited for hydrocarbon analysis, because it generates molecular ions for almost all compounds with minimal fragmentation. We can get individual hydrocarbon information (formula, carbon number, intensity) easily from molecular ions which are generated by FI. We do not need to use complex EI fragmentation information to carry out type analysis. There are several advantages to using GCxGC/FI-HRMS methods for detailed type analysis of petroleum samples

  • FI is ideal for hydrocarbon compounds because it generates abundant molecular ions.

  • High selectivity (with narrow m/z windows) allows high-precision extracted ion chromatograms.

  • GCxGC provides exceptional separation capacity with 2D structure-retention relationships.

Templates for various hydrocarbon series can be created within GC Image (GC Image, LLC) GCxGC/MS data processing software. Then the templates can be applied to any hydrocarbon data acquired with the same GCxGC conditions.


JEOL provides a variety of support services to ensure that our customers can use our products with peace of mind.
Please feel free to contact us.