The stereoisomers of metolachlor and its two polar metabolites [ethane sulfonic acid (ESA) and oxanilic acid (OXA)] were separated using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE), respectively. The separation of metolachlor enantiomers was achieved using a LC-MS equipped with a chiral stationary phase based on cellulose tris(3,5-dimethylphenyl carbamate) and an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source operated under positive ion mode. The enantiomers of ESA and OXA were separated using CZE with gamma-cyclodextrin (??-CD) as chiral selector. Various CZE conditions were investigated to achieve the best resolution of the ESA and OXA enantiomers. The optimum background CZE electrolyte was found to consist of borate buffer (pH = 9) containing 20% methanol (v/v) and 2.5% ??-CD (w/v). Maximum resolution of ESA and OXA enantiomers was achieved using a capillary temperature of 15??C and applied voltage of 30 kV. The applicability of the LC-MS and CZE methods was demonstrated successfully on the enantiomeric analysis of metolachlor and its metabolites in samples from a soil and water degradation study that was set up to probe the stereoselectivity of metolachlor biodegradation. These techniques allow the enantiomeric ratios of the target analytes to be followed over time during the degradation process and thus will prove useful in determining the role of chirality in pesticide degradation and metabolite formation. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Enantiomeric separation of metolachlor and its metabolites using LC-MS and CZE