Creosote is a distillation product of coal tar and is widely used as wood preservative for railway sleepers, utility poles and for other applications. Creosote can have potentially negative effects on the environment and many of the components are toxic. This study presents the analysis of a Creosote sample from a former wood impregnation plant located in the UK. The sample was analysed using two dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS) and a database of compounds that could be detected was produced. The GCxGG-TOFMS was capable of detecting 1505 individual compounds, which is far more than previous estimates for the number of compounds present within Creosote. Post extraction derivatization using BTSFA with 1% TMCS was employed to increase the potential number of compounds detected with 255 derivatized compounds detected, 231 of which would not have been detected without prior derivatization. Selected derivatized compounds were quantified with limits of detection ranging from 0.6 mg/kg to 1.6 mg/kg from a concentrated dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL). This work presents the first published full analysis of a Creosote using GCxGC-TOFMS combined with derivatization.
- coal tar
- environmental forensics