Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry for analyses of organic compounds and biomarkers as tracers for geological, environmental, and forensic research

Authors

  • Patricia M. Medeiros,

    1. Environmental and Petroleum Research Group, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
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  • Bernd R. T. Simoneit

    1. Environmental Science Program, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA. Fax: +1 732 932-8578
    2. Environmental and Petroleum Research Group, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
    3. Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
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Abstract

Gas chromatography, especially when coupled with mass spectrometry, is the analytical method of choice for elucidation of biomarker compounds present in organic mixtures extracted from geological, environmental, and biological samples. This review describes the biomarker concept, i. e., the precursor natural products to the geological/environmental derivatives, and their application as multi-tracers in the geosphere and ambient environment. The mass spectrometric methods currently utilized for such analyses are reviewed with a general key to the literature, and typical examples of applications using GC–MS are also described.

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