Petrochemical Analysis with a Softer Touch

(Pittcon 2023, Philadelphia, PA) – Petrochemical analysis just got a little bit easier with the introduction of JEOL’s AccuTOF™ GC Alpha. A leader in the mass spectrometry space for over 60 years, this 6th-generation high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer (HRTOFMS) features increased mass resolving power (R=30,000), improved mass accuracy (≤ 1ppm), and multiple soft ionization sources, making it a strong choice for labs analyzing petroleum, gas, oil, and shale.


Image Credit: JEOL USA Inc.

Furthermore, the GC-Alpha can be combined with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography for GCxGC-HRTOFMS which is a powerful method for characterizing complex mixtures such as base oils. The system includes Electron Ionization (EI) for database searches, but this technique often lacks a strong molecular ion signal.

The GC-Alpha has optionally available Field Ionization (FI) and Field Desorption (FD) which are well suited for hydrocarbons analysis because they generate molecular ions for most compounds, including saturated hydrocarbons, with minimal fragmentation. The resulting mass spectra are dominated by molecular ions, whether from the GC output (FI) or from the emitter surface (FD).

“Soft ionization is essential for the qualitative analysis of unknown compounds as EI does not always produce a molecular ion,” says Dr. John Dane, Mass Spectrometry Product Manager at JEOL USA. “Using soft ionization like FI in combination with the GC-Alpha’s high-resolution capabilities allows the analyst to also determine the molecular ion information. Our optional combination EI/FI/FD ion source allows you to get the best of both worlds, while not having to break vacuum to switch between techniques.”

Structural elucidation of hydrocarbon classes in petroleum products are always in high demand. This instrument also features msFineAnalysis AI, a new artificial intelligence software designed to predict the molecular structure of an unknown analyte by using hard and soft ionization data together.

JEOL is a world leader in equipment and instrumentation for high-performance scientific and industrial research and development. Core product groups include electron microscopes (SEMs and TEMs), instruments for the semiconductor industry (electron beam lithography and a series of defect review and inspection tools), and analytical instruments including mass spectrometers, NMRs and ESRs.

JEOL USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of JEOL, Ltd., Japan, was incorporated in the United States in 1962. The company has 13 regional service centers that offer unlimited emergency service and support in the U.S.


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