The analysis of 1-propanol and 2-propanol in humid air samples using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2006;20(2):125-30. doi: 10.1002/rcm.2285.


Following the observation that propanol is present in the breath samples of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients infected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), a study of the reactions of H(3)O(+), NO(+) and O(2) (+.) with 1-propanol and 2-propanol has been conducted using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). In this study the number and the distribution of the product ions from NO(+) reactions with the two propanol isomers under humid air conditions were able to differentiate between the two isomers. The reaction mechanisms and the structures of the product ions for these reactions, especially those with H(3)O(+) and NO(+), have been proposed. As an example, 2-propanol was shown to be present in a breath sample from one CF patient infected with PA, and also in a PA isolate from another CF patient grown on Pseudomonas-selective media. The results of this study allow an analytical procedure to be advanced for the analysis of the two propanol isomers, which can also be utilised in other applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Propanol / analysis*
  • 2-Propanol / analysis*
  • Air / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Breath Tests / methods*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Water / analysis
  • Water / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Water
  • 1-Propanol
  • 2-Propanol