Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry: A Practical Guide

2nd Edition

Authors: O. David Sparkman Zelda Penton Fulton Kitson
Paperback ISBN: 9780123736284
eBook ISBN: 9780080920153
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 30th March 2011
Page Count: 632
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The second edition of Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry: A Practical Guide follows the highly successful first edition by F.G. Kitson, B.S. Larsen, and C.N. McEwen (1996), which was designed as an indispensible resource for GC/MS practitioners regardless of whether they are a novice or well experienced. The Fundamentals section has been extensively reworked from the original edition to give more depth of an understanding of the techniques and science involved with GC/MS. Even with this expansion, the original brevity and simple didactic style has been retained. Information on chromatographic peak deconvolution has been added along with a more in-depth understanding of the use of mass spectral databases in the identification of unknowns. Since the last edition, a number of advances in GC inlet systems and sample introduction techniques have occurred, and they are included in the new edition. Other updates include a discussion on fast GC and options for combining GC detectors with mass spectrometry.

The section regarding GC Conditions, Derivatization, and Mass Spectral Interpretation of Specific Compound Types has the same number of compound types as the original edition, but the information in each section has been expanded to not only explain some of the spectra but to also explain why certain fragmentations take place. The number of Appendices has been increased from 12 to 17. The Appendix on Atomic Masses and Isotope Abundances has been expanded to provide tools to aid in determination of elemental composition from isotope peak intensity ratios. An appendix with examples on "Steps to follow in the determination of elemental compositions based on isotope peak intensities" has been added. Appendices on whether to use GC/MS or LC/MS, third-party software for use in data analysis, list of information required in reporting GC/MS data, X+1 and X+2 peak relative intensities based on the number of atoms of c

Key Features

  • Covers the practical instruction necessary for successful operation of GC/MS equipment
  • Reviews the latest advances in instrumentation, ionization methods, and quantitation
  • Includes troubleshooting techniques and a variety of additional information useful for the GC/MS practitioner
  • A true benchtop reference
  • A guide to a basic understanding of the components of a Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • Quick References to data interpretation
  • Ready source for information on new analyses


Immediate value to the novice as well as the experienced GC/MS user who may not have the breadth of knowledge covered in this book.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction and History

1.1. Instrumental Variables

1.2. Operational Variables

Chapter 2. Gas Chromatography

2.1. Overview of a Gas Chromatograph

2.2. Sample Introduction

2.3. Separation of Components in the GC System

2.4. Overview of GC Detectors

2.5. Adding Versatility to the GC/MS System with Valves, Splitters, and Thermal Modulators

Chapter 3. The GC/MS Interface

3.1. Open-Split Interface

3.2. Jet Separator

Chapter 4. Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation

4.1. Overview of Mass Spectrometers

4.2. Resolution, Resolving Power, and Mass Accuracy

4.3. Vacuum System

4.4. Ionization Types

4.5. m/z Analyzer Types

4.6. Ion Detection

4.7. m/z Scale Calibration

4.8. Tuning the Mass Spectrometer

4.9. Data Acquisition

4.10. Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS)

4.11. Conclusion

Chapter 5. Mass Spectral Data Interpretation

5.1. Using the Database Search

5.2. Identification of a Molecular Ion Peak in an EI Mass Spectrum

5.3. What to Do If There Is No Molecular Ion Peak

5.4. Selecting the Spectrum to Be Interpreted

5.5. Reading an EI Mass Spectrum

5.6. Final Remarks

Chapter 6. Quantitation with GC/MS

6.1. Introduction

6.2. Selection of the Quantitation Ion

6.3. Quantitation Methods

6.4. Making Standard Solutions

6.5. External Standard Method

6.6. Internal Standard Method

6.7. Standard Additions

6.8. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 7. Acids

7.1. GC Separations of Underivatized Carboxylic Acids

7.2. General Derivatization Procedure for C8–C24 Carboxylic Acids

7.3. GC Separation of Derivatized Carboxylic Acids

7.4. Mass Spectral Interpretation



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© Academic Press 2011
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About the Author

O. David Sparkman

Affiliations and Expertise

Antioch, CA, USA

Zelda Penton

Fulton Kitson


"The authors have kept this book relevant and timely and have achieved their goal of providing useful information for practitioners. They understand what those who actually use GC/MS need, and continue to add appendixes of numerical information (increased from 12 to 17 in this revision)…The entire book has been updated and improved where needed; for example, chapter 6, covering the challenging topic of quantitation, has been "completely reworked." Sparkman and his collaborators continue to write high-quality books that are extremely useful, precise, and interesting to both novices and experienced scientists. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practicioners."--CHOICE