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  • Improved oil spill dispersant monitoring in seawater using dual tracers: Dioctyl and monoctyl sulfosuccinates sourced from corexit EC9500A.

Improved oil spill dispersant monitoring in seawater using dual tracers: Dioctyl and monoctyl sulfosuccinates sourced from corexit EC9500A.

Journal of chromatography. A (2019-04-17)
Pamela Brunswick, Ceara Y MacInnis, Marcus Kim, Jeffrey Yan, Ben Fieldhouse, Carl E Brown, Graham van Aggelen, Dayue Shang
ABSTRACT

A high resolution mass spectrometry method was developed for the environmental impact monitoring of oil spill dispersants. Previously reported instability of dioctyl sulfosuccinate (DOSS) dispersant tracer was addressed by the new procedure. The method monitors both DOSS and its degradation product, monooctyl sulfosuccinate (MOSS), by liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The related isomer, 4-(2-ethylhexyl) 2-sulfobutanedioate, was chromatographically resolved from MOSS but was not a product of DOSS degradation. Using this direct injection method (10 μL), the practical lower limit of quantitation was 0.5 nM for each analyte, a concentration equivalent to 0.22 ng mL-1, or 0.30 ng mL-1 including initial dilution factor with acetonitrile. The method was shown applicable to analysis of the dispersants Corexit® EC9500 A, Finasol OSR 52, Slickgone NS, and Slickgone EW for which DOSS is an active ingredient. A marine microcosm study of Corexit EC9500A, together with diluted bitumen (dilbit), at 15 ± 1 °C, provided evidence of the stoichiometric conversion of DOSS to MOSS under conditions reflecting a western Canadian marine environment. The advantage of the developed method is in its ability to extend environmental seawater sample collection time from 4 days for DOSS alone, to 14 days when both DOSS and MOSS are simultaneously analysed and results combined. The collection time is likely extended beyond the 14 day period with cooler temperatures. Preservation of collected seawater samples using sodium hydroxide, converting DOSS into MOSS in situ, was rejected due to stability issues. Addition of disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid did not improve hold times, thus eliminating the theory of cation induced micelle effects causing DOSS loss.