Identification of a fuel released into the environment can be difficult due to biodegradation or weathering. Negative electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry was used to screen for unique polar components in a wide variety of commercial hydrocarbon products and mixtures. These fuels produced unique and relatively simple spectra. When applied to hydrocarbon samples from a large, long-term fuel spill in a relatively cool climate in which the alkane, isoprenoid, and alkylcyclohexane portions had begun to biodegrade or weather, the polar components in these samples had changed little over time. This technique provided rapid fuel identification on hydrocarbons released into the environment, without sample preparation, fractionation, or chromatography. Copyright ?? Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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Profiling refined hydrocarbon fuels using polar components