Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Darrin L. Smith

Department Affiliation



Mass spectrometry (MS) has undergone a revolution with the introduction of a new group of desorption/ionization (DI) techniques known collectively as Ambient Ionization mass spectrometry. Ambient ionization mass spectrometry allows for direct analysis of analytes and typically requires little or no sample preparation. Specifically, Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) has developed rapidly and allowed investigations to occur with the analysis of biomass after various pretreatments to determine the pretreatment biomass degradation efficiency. The degradation of the initial biomass structure is a very important step before other chemical treatments can occur to generate needed sugars. Since generated sugars aid in algae production, the pretreatment process is also important in relation to the overall process in producing biofuels. In addition to biomass analysis, analysis of specific biofuels from various feedstocks by the DART-MS is also presented demonstrating this ambient ionization method can be a rapid verification of the biofuel production. Biofuels generated from renewable resources have the potential to be a valuable substitute for, or complement to conventional gasoline.

Included in

Chemistry Commons