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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of propan-2-ol

The mass spectrum of propan-2-ol  (2-propanol)

Doc Brown's Chemistry Advanced Level Pre-University Chemistry Revision Study Notes for UK IB KS5 A/AS GCE advanced A level organic chemistry students US K12 grade 11 grade 12 organic chemistry courses involving molecular spectroscopy analysing mass spectra of propan-2-ol

mass spectrum of propan-2-ol fragmentation pattern of m/z m/e ions for analysis and identification of 2-propanol image diagram doc brown's advanced organic chemistry revision notes 

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Interpreting the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of propan-2-ol  (2-propanol, isopropyl alcohol)

[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 60 corresponding to [C3H8O]+, the original propan-2-ol molecule minus an electron, [CH3CH(OH)CH3]+.

However, this is a highly unstable molecular ion, only a trace is detected.

The small M+1 peak at m/z 61, corresponds to an ionised propan-2-ol molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised propan-2-ol molecule of formula 13C12C2H8O

Identifying the species giving the most prominent peaks (apart from M) in the fragmentation pattern of propan-2-ol.

m/z value of [fragment]+ 59 45 43 ? 43 ? 41
[molecular fragment]+ [CH3CHOCH3]+ [CH3CHOH]+ [CH3CO]+ [C3H7]+ [C3H5]+
m/z value of [fragment]+ 39 31 ? 29 26 19 15
[molecular fragment]+ [C3H3]+ [CH2OH]+ [CHO]+ [C2H2]+ [?]+ [CH3]+

Analysing and explaining the principal ions in the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of propan-2-ol

Equations to explain the most abundant ion peaks of propan-2-ol

Formation of m/z 59 ion: [CH3CH(OH)CH3]+  ===>  [CH3CHOCH3]+  +  H

Proton loss from parent molecular ion m/z 60.

Formation of m/z 45 ion: [CH3CH(OH)CH3]+  ===>  [CH3CHOH]+  +  CH3

The m/z 45 ion is the base peak, the most abundant stable ion fragment.

This could be formed by C-C bond scission.

Formation of m/z 15 ion: [CH3CH(OH)CH3]+  ===>  [CH3]+  +  CH3CHOH


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