The gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) separation of all 209 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners was studied on an extremely efficient 80 m x 0.1mm i.d. capillary column coated with a 0.1 microm film of poly(5%-phenyl methyl)siloxane stationary phase. The quality of the separation and the number of resolved and coeluting peaks were compared to predictions according to the statistical overlap theory (SOT) and to literature data on PCB separations obtained by one-dimensional and comprehensive two-dimensional GC (GC x GC) and GC-MS. Mass spectral and chemometric deconvolution procedures were used to resolve overlapping peaks. On the highly efficient column, 195 PCB congeners were resolved in 96 min separation time using spectral and chemometric deconvolution. This number is comparable to the best separations described in GC x GC-MS mode. The novel method was developed for spectral deconvolution of overlapped PCB congeners which was verified determining the most toxic, dioxin-like PCBs both in the model mixture of 209 PCBs as well as in the Aroclor 1242 and Aroclor 1254 formulations.
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