Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was combined with high-performance liquid chromatography/high-flow pneumatically assisted electrospray mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESP/MS) for the trace analysis of oxanilic and sulfonic acids of acetochlor, alachlor, and metolachlor. The isolation procedure separated the chloroacetanilide metabolites from the parent herbicides during the elution from C18 cartridges using ethyl acetate for parent compounds, followed by methanol for the anionic metabolites. The metabolites were separated chromatographically using reversed-phase HPLC and analyzed by negative-ion MS using electrospray ionization in selected ion mode. Quantitation limits were 0.01 ??g/L for both the oxanilic and sulfonic acids based on a 100-mL water sample. This combination of methods represents an important advance in environmental analysis of chloroacetanilide-herbicide metabolites in surface water and groundwater for two reasons. First, anionic chloroacetanilide metabolites are a major class of degradation products that are readily leached to groundwater in agricultural areas. Second, anionic metabolites, which are not able to be analyzed by conventional methods such as liquid extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, are effectively analyzed by SPE and high-flow pneumatically assisted electrospray mass spectrometry. This paper reports the first HPLC/MS identification of these metabolites in surface water and groundwater.
Additional publication details
Identification of ionic chloroacetanilide-herbicide metabolites in surface water and groundwater by HPLC/MS using negative ion spray