Capillary gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) combined with mass spectrometry (MS) has been successfully used for the separation of complex mixtures of alkaloids. The aim of Gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (GLC/MS) is to operate both a gas chromatograph and a mass spectrometer. Gas chromatography is an ideal separator, whereas the mass spectrometer is an identificator287'289'290'291'293'294'295'296. The technique of mass spectrometry was discovered in 1912, and developed to become one of the most effective methods for biomolecular research. The mass spectrometer or mass spectrograph, as it is also called, generally consists of four units: (1) an inlet system, (2) an ion source, (3) an electrostatic accelerating system, and (4) a detector and readout system. Different mass spectrometers exist. The mass spectrometer determines the mass spectrum from the alkaloid analysis. The mass spectrum of a compound contains the masses of the ion fragments and the relative abundance of these ions plus, often, the parent ion. Mass spectrometer can be used for electron impact (EI+) or for EI+ and chemical ionisation (CI) of compounds. This molecular fragmentation is the basis for alkaloid identification. The basis of mass spectrometry analysis is that in the same conditions the molecular fragments of the alkaloid mass must be identical.
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