Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Andre R. Venter

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Barcelona

Third Advisor

Dr. Blair Szymczyna


Ionic liquids, liquid chromatography, oil spill, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatographymass spectrometry (LC-MS) are powerful analytical techniques that combine the separation power in a stationary phase with the detection power of mass spectrometry. GCMS and LC-MS have gained dominant positions in identifying and quantifying different analyte species due to their high selectivity, high sensitivity, and high reproducibility.

My research utilizes the analytical power of LC-MS and GC-MS to address two environmental issues: 1) Identification of biodegradation products of the ionic liquid 1- butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (BMIMCl) by an activated sludge microbial community using LC-MS and 2) identification and quantification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Kalamazoo River oil spill using GC-MS. Three major metabolites from BMIMCl biodegradation were identified, and their structures were confirmed using MS/MS and 1H-NMR techniques. Many PAHs were identified, and their concentrations were quantified in the Kalamazoo River oil spill area using GC-MS.