Skip to main content

Simple and Sensitive Determination of 2,4-Xylenol in Surface Water Samples from River and Sea by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry


A simple and selective method was developed for determination of the concentration of 2,4-xylenol in river and sea water samples using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Trace amounts of 2,4-xylenol were collected in a Oasis HLB Plus cartridge, eluted with acetonitrile. The method detection limit of 2,4-xylenol was 1.4 ng/L. The trace peaks of 2,4-xylenol were found in water samples from the river and the sea, and the concentrations were all less than 1.4 ng/L. The nine peaks of the 2,3-, 2,4-, 2,5-, 2,6-, 3,4-, 3,5-xylenol, and o-, m-, p-ethyl phenol that gave the same m/z ratio were separated efficiently.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Bossi R, Vejrup KV, Mogensen BB, Asman WAH (2002) Analysis of polar pesticides in rainwater in Denmark by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A 957:27–36. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(02)00312-6

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Environmental Health Department, Ministry of the Environment in Japan (1998) 74: Chemicals in the Environment (in Japanese)

  3. Fernandez M, Rodriguez R, Pico Y, Manes J (2001) Liquid chromatographic-mass spectrometric determination of post-harvest fungicides in citrus fruits. J Chromatogr A 912:301–310. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(01)00576-3

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Heberer T, Stan HJ (1997) Detection of more than 50 substituted phenols as their t-butyldimethylsilyl derivatives using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Anal Chim Acta 341:21–34. doi:10.1016/S0003-2670(96)00557-0

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Lacassie E, Dreyfuss M-F, Daguet JL, Vignaud M, Marquet P, Lachatre G (1999) Liquid chromatography–electrospray mass spectrometry multi-residue determination of pesticides in apples and pears. J Chromatogr A 830:135–143. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(98)00871-1

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Santana CM, Ferrera ZS, Rodoriguez JJS (2002) Use of non-ionic surfactant solutions for the extraction and preconcentration of phenolic compounds in water prior to their HPLC-UV detection. Analyst 127:1031–1037. doi:10.1039/b202092k

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Schreiber A, Efer J, Engewald W (2000) Application of spectral libraries for high-performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry to the analysis of pesticide and explosive residues in environmental samples. J Chromatogr A 869:411–425. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(99)01271-6

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Takeda K, Oki N, Shichijyo K, Takayama S (1995) Thermal degradation of polyphenylene–ether with rearrangement reaction. Mater Life (in Japanese) 7:126–135

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Trapido M, Veressinina Y, Munter R (1998) Advance oxidation processes for degradation of 2,4-dichlo- and 2,4-dimethylphenol. J Environ Eng 124:690–694. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(1998)124:8(690)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Wu Z, Gao W, Phelps MA, Wu D, Miller DD, Dalton JT (2004) Favorable effects of weak acids on negative-ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 76:839–847. doi:10.1021/ac0351670

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported in part by grant-aid from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hiroko Tsukatani.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tsukatani, H., Tobiishi, K. & Imasaka, T. Simple and Sensitive Determination of 2,4-Xylenol in Surface Water Samples from River and Sea by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 82, 153–157 (2009).

Download citation


  • 2,4-Xylenol
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • River water
  • Sea water