Identification of individual acids in a commercial sample of naphthenic acids from petroleum by two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
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The identification of most individual members of the complex mixtures of carboxylic acids found in petroleum ('naphthenic acids') has eluded chemists for over a century; they remain unresolved by conventional gas chromatographic methods. Recently, however, we successfully used two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify numerous individual diamondoid acids in the naphthenic acids of oil sands process water (OSPW). We have now applied the same methods to a study of a mixture of commercially available naphthenic acids originally refined from petroleum. The results confirm that OSPW and refined petroleum contain very different distributions of acids, as noted previously, although some of the diamondoid acids recently identified in OSPW were detectable in both. Rather, two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC/ToF-MS) of the methyl esters of the petroleum acids and of numerous acids synthesised for comparison showed that the former comprised mainly C 8-18 straight-chain, methyl-branched, acyclic isoprenoid, cyclohexyl and isomeric octahydropentalene, perhydroindane and perhydronaphthalene (decalin) acids. Some of the latter bicyclic acids occurred as both the non-alkyl-substituted isomers and the bicyclic ethanoic and propanoic acids. Also present in minor quantities was a range of phenyl carboxylic and substituted phenyl alkanoic acids, and traces of non-acids, including trimethylnaphthalenes, again identified by comparison with the synthesised compounds. These results represent some of the first identifications of multiple individual naphthenic acids in commercial mixtures originating from petroleum and provide a basis for future studies of the petroleum geochemistry, toxicities and environmental impacts of the acids. Furthermore, characterisation of the acids will be important for improving the understanding of the role of naphthenic acids in petroleum engineering, particularly for oil pipeline deposition problems. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Jones, D.; Scarlett, Alan; West, C.; Rowland, S. (2011)Numerous studies have suggested that the toxicity of organic compounds containing at least one carboxylic acid group and broadly classified as "naphthenic acids", is of environmental concern. For example, the acute toxicity ...
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Swigert, J.; Lee, C.; Wong, D.; White, R.; Scarlett, Alan; West, C.; Rowland, S. (2015)© 2014 The Authors. This paper presents chemical composition and aquatic toxicity characteristics of a commercial sample of naphthenic acids (NAs). Naphthenic acids are derived from the refining of petroleum middle ...