Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry: The Transformation of Modern Environmental Analyses
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Unknown compounds in environmental samples are difficult to identify using standard mass spectrometric methods. Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) has revolutionized how environmental analyses are performed. With its unsurpassed mass accuracy, high resolution and sensitivity, researchers now have a tool for difficult and complex environmental analyses. Two features of FTMS are responsible for changing the face of how complex analyses are accomplished. First is the ability to quickly and with high mass accuracy determine the presence of unknown chemical residues in samples. For years, the field has been limited by mass spectrometric methods that were based on knowing what compounds of interest were. Secondly, by utilizing the high resolution capabilities coupled with the low detection limits of FTMS, analysts also could dilute the sample sufficiently to minimize the ionization changes from varied matrices.