LC-MS screening of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in contaminated soil by Kendrick mass analysis
By Boris Bugsel and Christian Zwiener
Anal Bioanal Chem.
January 16, 2020
The application of contaminated paper sludge on arable land in southwest Germany caused the occurrence of a broad range of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) on soil. Recently, the dead-end transformation products (TPs) perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid were detected in groundwater and drinking water. The precursors and other transformation products mostly remained unknown. Therefore, HRMS screening by Kendrick mass analysis and assignment of homologous series in combination with suspect screening were applied to identify original PFASs and their TPs in four different soil samples from sites where contaminated paper sludge was applied. In total, twelve compound classes comprising more than 61 PFASs could be fully or tentatively identified. The data reveal that contamination mainly originates from polyfluorinated dialkylated phosphate esters (from 4:2/6:2 to 12:2/14:2), N-ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamide ethanol-based phosphate diesters (only C8/C8) and transformation products of these precursors. Contamination patterns can be attributed to PFASs used for paper impregnation and can vary slightly from site to site.