Gas chromatography/supersonic jet/resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/SSJ/REMPI/TOF-MS) was employed for isomer-selective determination of 2,4-xylenol in river and seawater samples. The sample containing 2,4-xylenol was measured using argon, rather than helium, as the GC carrier gas to cool the analyte molecule sufficiently. The instrumental detection limit (IDL) achieved at a flow rate of 1 mLmin(-1) was 14 pg. Although this value was comparable to the value (ca. 10 pg) obtained by gas chromatography/electron impact/quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC/EI/QMS). When the flow rate was increased to 8 mLmin(-1), interference from the 2,5-xylenol isomer was completely suppressed. The IDL was degraded to 83 or 160 pg at a flow rate of 5 or 8 mLmin(-1), respectively. The recovery of 2,4-xylenol from the river and the seawater samples was 85 and 93%, respectively. The time for analysis was only 10 min per one sample in GC/SSJ/REMPI/TOF-MS. These results suggest that GC/SSJ/REMPI/TOF-MS is useful for the selective measurement of 2,4-xylenol, which has been designated a Class I chemical substance in the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR).
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