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Characterization of organic aromatic compounds in soils affected by an uncontrolled tire landfill fire through the use of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry

AuthorsEscobar-Arnanz, Juan; Mekni, S.; Blanco, Guillermo ; Eljarrat, Ethel ; Barceló, Damià ; Ramos, Lourdes
KeywordsTire fire
Soil analysis
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Persistent organic pollutants
Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography
Issue Date2018
CitationJournal of Chromatography A 1536: 163-175 (2018)
AbstractDiscarded vehicle tires have become an increasing concern worldwide due to the enormous amount of wastes generated and the increasing evidence of health problems associated to their disposal and accidental combustion. Previous studies conducted involving either simulated or open uncontrolled tire fires have identified aromatics belonging to two main classes, volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs), as the most relevant chemicals generated in these burning processes. As a consequence, and due to their recognized toxicity, most studies reported up to now have mainly focused on these two categories of compounds being information concerning the possible occurrence of other aromatic classes rather limited. In this study, the enhanced separation power and structural confirmation capabilities provided by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC – ToF MS) has been used, for the first time, for the non-targeted analysis of soils impacted by a tire fire and an ash collected at the scene of the fire. In total, 118 volatile and semi-volatile aromatic compounds have been differentiated. Among them, 104 compounds have been either positively or tentatively identified. PAHs with 3–5 rings and their alkyl-derivatives were the most numerous and relevant classes in the investigated samples. A significant number of sulfur, oxygen- and nitrogen-containing PAHs were also detected in the samples. The application of a script function to the raw GC × GC – ToF MS data allowed the fast filtering and automatic recognition of compounds containing halogens in their structure. This part of the study evidenced that only a limited number of regulated persistent organic pollutants were present in the investigated samples. However, it also revealed the presence of emerging organophosphorous flame retardants, whose levels in tire fire impacted soils are reported for the first time.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2017.10.044
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