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Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Characterization of long-chain carboxylic esters with CH3OBOCH 3 (+) in a small fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer.


PMID 24203076

Abstract

The usefulness of CH3OBOCH 3 (+) as a chemical ionization reagent was examined by allowing the ion to react with carboxylic esters of various chain lengths in a small Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer equipped with a permanent magnet. CH3OBOCH 3 (+) is a strong electrophile and readily abstracts an oxygen-containing group from the carboxylic esters. Long-chain esters exclusively lose the alkoxide moiety to give the acylium ion. The same reaction was observed for saturated, unsaturated, branched and cyclic esters. In each case, the acylium ion reacts further with a neutral ester molecule by proton transfer to yield the protonated ester as a secondary product. This remarkably simple product distribution reveals the molecular weight of the ester, the chain length of its acid moiety, and the degree of unsaturation in the acid and alcohol moieties.

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