Branched alkanes from ancient and modern sediments

Isomer discrimination by GC/MS with multiple reaction monitoring

Roger E. Summons*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    74 Citations (Scopus)


    Linked scanning of a tandem sector mass spectrometer has been used to identify abundant, first field free region (FFR1) unimolecular fragmentations in branched and isoprenoid hydrocarbons. The most intense, structure-specific reactions were selected to establish multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) parameters for GC/MS analysis. This methodology has been used to study the identity of co-eluting and closely eluting hydrocarbon biomarkers from modern and ancient sediments anand from extant micro-organisms. Some sediments of Cambrian and Proterozoic age have been found to contain suites of monomethylalkanes with all possible isomers present and with little apparent preference for the site of branching.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)281-289
    Number of pages9
    JournalOrganic Geochemistry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1987


    • ancient and modern sediments
    • biomarker hydrocarbons
    • branched alkanes
    • isoprenoids
    • methylalkanes
    • MRM
    • MS/MS
    • petroleum

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Branched alkanes from ancient and modern sediments: Isomer discrimination by GC/MS with multiple reaction monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this