2022 journal article
Characterization of compositional variability in petroleum substances
In the process of registration of substances of Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products or Biological Materials (UVCBs), information sufficient to enable substance identification must be provided. Substance identification for UVCBs formed through petroleum refining is particularly challenging due to their chemical complexity, as well as variability in refining process conditions and composition of the feedstocks. This study aimed to characterize compositional variability of petroleum UVCBs both within and across product categories. We utilized ion mobility spectrometry (IMS)-MS as a technique to evaluate detailed chemical composition of independent production cycle-derived samples of 6 petroleum products from 3 manufacturing categories (heavy aromatic, hydrotreated light paraffinic, and hydrotreated heavy paraffinic). Atmospheric pressure photoionization and drift tube IMS-MS were used to identify structurally related compounds and quantify between- and within-product variability. In addition, we determined both individual molecules and hydrocarbon blocks that were most variable in samples from different production cycles. We found that detailed chemical compositional data on petroleum UVCBs obtained from IMS-MS can provide the information necessary for hazard and risk characterization in terms of quantifying the variability of the products in a manufacturing category, as well as in subsequent production cycles of the same product.