Fragmentation Pattern-Based Screening Strategy Combining Diagnostic Ion and Neutral Loss Uncovered Novel para-Phenylenediamine Quinone Contaminants in the Environment

Wei Wang, Guodong Cao, Jing Zhang, Weixia Chang, Yuecheng Sang, Zongwei Cai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Identifying transformed emerging contaminants in complex environmental compartments is a challenging but meaningful task. Substituted para-phenylenediamine quinones (PPD-quinones) are emerging contaminants originating from rubber antioxidants and have been proven to be toxic to the aquatic species, especially salmonids. The emergence of multiple PPD-quinones in various environmental matrices and evidence of their specific hazards underscore the need to understand their environmental occurrences. Here, we introduce a fragmentation pattern-based nontargeted screening strategy combining full MS/All ion fragmentation/neutral loss-ddMS2 scans to identify potential unknown PPD-quinones in different environmental matrices. Using diagnostic fragments of m/z 170.0600, 139.0502, and characteristic neutral losses of 199.0633, 138.0429 Da, six known and three novel PPD-quinones were recognized in air particulates, surface soil, and tire tissue. Their specific structures were confirmed, and their environmental concentration and composition profiles were clarified with self-synthesized standards. N-(1-methylheptyl)-N'-phenyl-1,4-benzenediamine quinone (8PPD-Q) and N,N'-di(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-p-phenylenediamine quinone (66PD-Q) were identified and quantified for the first time, with their median concentrations found to be 0.02-0.21 μg·g-1 in tire tissue, 0.40-2.76 pg·m-3 in air particles, and 0.23-1.02 ng·g-1 in surface soil. This work provides new evidence for the presence of unknown PPD-quinones in the environment, showcasing a potential strategy for screening emerging transformed contaminants in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5921–5931
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume58
Issue number13
Early online date21 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • 6PPD-Q
  • diagnostic fragment
  • emerging contaminants
  • high-resolution mass spectrometry
  • neutral loss
  • nontargeted identification
  • para-phenylenediamine quinones

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