The molecular characterization of castor oil ethoxylates (CASEOs) was studied by reverse-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) mass spectrometry (MS) and multistage mass spectrometry (MS(n)). The developed RPLC method allowed the separation of the various CASEO components, and especially, the baseline separation of multiple nominal isobars (same nominal mass) and isomers (same exact mass). MS and MS(n) were used for the determination and structure elucidation of various structures and for the discrimination of the isobars and isomers. Different ionization techniques and adduct ions were also tested for optimization of the MS detection and the MS(n) fragmentation. A unique fragmentation pathway of ricinoleic acid is proposed, which can be used as a marker of the polymerization process and the topology of ethoxylation in the CASEO. In addition, characteristic neutral losses of ricinoleic acid reveal its (terminal or internal) position in the molecule.
J. Chromatogr., A

Nasioudis, A., van Velde, J. W., Heeren, R., & van den Brink, O. F. (2011). Detailed molecular characterization of castor oil ethoxylates by liquid chromatography multistage mass spectrometry. J. Chromatogr., A, 1218(40), 7166–7172. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2011.08.032