Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Paul Simone Jr.

Committee Member

Paul S. Simone Jr.

Committee Member

Gary L. Emmert

Committee Member

Michael A. Brown

Committee Member

Xiaohua Huang

Committee Member

Charles M. Garner


This dissertation discusses the of method development, optimization, and results of trace analysis of complex matrix samples of sodium hypochlorite solutions and environmental samples for contaminants using mass spectrometry bases methods. Sodium hypochlorite solutions are analyzed for the presence and concentration of haloacetic acids (HAAs). These HAAs are possible carcinogens to humans and regulated disinfectant byproducts. HAAs are the result of chlorination of water containing natural organic matter. The regulation of HAAs require the need to quantify and identify them as well as determine their sources. These sources could include formation by reactions or from contamination of treatment chemicals used in the water treatment process. This work also focused on the analysis of sodium hypochlorite solution for unidentified compounds using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Identification of new compounds could answer questions of bias and interferents of HAAs in other analysis methods. This exploratory work opens the door to identification of other regulated, as well unregulated, compounds of health concern. Investigation of environmental samples centered around the uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within kudzu leaves along roadways using gas chromatography for separation and mass spectrometry for identification. The PAHs, being known carcinogens are the result of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons and are present in vehicle emissions. The semi-volatile properties of PAHs make them more concentrated near their sources. Analysis of kudzu leaves along roadways is conducted to determine the concentration of PAHs that could be absorbed by the leaf material. This uptake is a representation of possible pathways to human contact as PAHs can settle on or absorb into food vegetation if in proximity to sources. The complex matrix for both sodium hypochlorite and kudzu leaves present challenges for many analytical methods of separation and analysis. The methods presented in this dissertation have shown the ability to overcome these matrix effects to isolate, identify and quantitate the analytes of interest.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access