Mass Spectrometry (MS) is a popular technique for environmental analysis because of its ability to carry out sensitive qualitative and quantitative analysis.
A number of developments, particularly in the analyzers used to separate ions based on their mass-to-charge ratio, make it increasingly useful for environmental analysis. Analyzers vary depending on their mass measurement accuracy, resolving power, acquisition speed and linearity. Analyzers like time-of-flight and orbit rap have been investigated for environmental applications.
Tandem MS using hybrid analyzers is further improving MS by using two rounds of mass analysis. It lends itself to environmental analysis because it is useful for analyzing analytes in complex mixtures, or with high sample matrix background. It has been used in pesticide analysis to identify compounds like nitro phenols, which are readily water soluble and can run-off into river water and make their way into drinking water supplies.