A new sensitive method for the quantification of glyoxal and methylglyoxal in snow and ice by stir bar sorptive extraction and liquid desorption-HPLC-ESI-MS

Müller-Tautges, Christina; Eichler, Anja; Schwikowski, Margit; Hoffmann, Thorsten (2014). A new sensitive method for the quantification of glyoxal and methylglyoxal in snow and ice by stir bar sorptive extraction and liquid desorption-HPLC-ESI-MS. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 406(11), pp. 2525-2532. Springer 10.1007/s00216-014-7640-z

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In this study, the development of a new sensitive method for the analysis of alpha-dicarbonyls glyoxal (G) and methylglyoxal (MG) in environmental ice and snow is presented. Stir bar sorptive extraction with in situ derivatization and liquid desorption (SBSE-LD) was used for sample extraction, enrichment, and derivatization. Measurements were carried out using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS). As part of the method development, SBSE-LD parameters such as extraction time, derivatization reagent, desorption time and solvent, and the effect of NaCl addition on the SBSE efficiency as well as measurement parameters of HPLC-ESI-MS/MS were evaluated. Calibration was performed in the range of 1–60 ng/mL using spiked ultrapure water samples, thus incorporating the complete SBSE and derivatization process. 4-Fluorobenzaldehyde was applied as internal standard. Inter-batch precision was <12 % RSD. Recoveries were determined by means of spiked snow samples and were 78.9 ± 5.6 % for G and 82.7 ± 7.5 % for MG, respectively. Instrumental detection limits of 0.242 and 0.213 ng/mL for G and MG were achieved using the multiple reaction monitoring mode. Relative detection limits referred to a sample volume of 15 mL were 0.016 ng/mL for G and 0.014 ng/mL for MG. The optimized method was applied for the analysis of snow samples from Mount Hohenpeissenberg (close to the Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, Germany) and samples from an ice core from Upper Grenzgletscher (Monte Rosa massif, Switzerland). Resulting concentrations were 0.085–16.3 ng/mL for G and 0.126–3.6 ng/mL for MG. Concentrations of G and MG in snow were 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than in ice core samples. The described method represents a simple, green, and sensitive analytical approach to measure G and MG in aqueous environmental samples.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwikowski, Margit


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry








Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

08 Oct 2014 15:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36

Publisher DOI:






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