Effluents of biological waste water treatment plants containing high concentrations of non-biodegradable substances measured as COD (chemical oxygen demand) were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). GC/MS could detect any relevant compound because of involatility of these substances. LC/MS/MS was able to give molecular weight information without any separation bypassing analytical column. Daughter- and parent-ions formed by MS/MS gave structural information by fragmentation under CID-conditions (collisionally induced dissociation) even for UV-non-detectable chromophor missing substances.

Metabolites and anthropogenic, non-biodegradable substances such as polyether, nonionic alkyl-and arylsurfactants and benzene-sulfonic acid could be detected and identified after C 18 column separation and without any prior separation, bypassing column.

Analysis without any separation could be done within a few minutes up to an hour, column separation lasted 10 to 100 fold longer.

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