Journal of chromatography. A

Determination of ethephon residues in water by gas chromatography with cubic mass spectrometry after ion-exchange purification and derivatisation with N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-N-methyltrifluoroacetamide.

PMID 16443233


An analytical method has been developed for the determination of residues of ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid) in drinking and surface water. The procedure is based on de-ionisation with an anion/cation-exchange resin, solid phase extraction by means of anion-exchange polystyrene-divinylbenzene extraction disks, elution with a mixture of methanol and 10 M hydrochloric acid (98/2, v/v), redisolution into acetonitrile after evaporation and silylation with N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-N-methyltrifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA). Quantification is performed by gas chromatography with ion-trap cubic mass spectrometric detection in the electron impact mode (GC-EI-MS3). Method validation was conducted using samples of mineral, tap, and river water that were fortified with ethephon at concentration levels ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 microg/L. The mean recovery from all the fortified samples (n = 36) amounted to 88% with a relative standard deviation of 17%. The method, therefore, was shown to allow accurate determination of ethephon residues in drinking and surface water with a limit of quantification of 0.1 microg/L.