To study Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, laboratory simulation experiments have been performed to obtain analogues of Titan's aerosols (named tholins) using different energy sources. Tholins, which have been demonstrated to represent aerosols in Titan's haze layers, are a complex mixture, resulting from the chemical evolution of several hydrocarbons and nitriles. Their chromatographic analysis yields complex chromatograms, which require the use of mathematical procedures to extract from them all the information they contain. Two different chemometric approaches (the Fourier analysis approach and the statistical model of peak overlapping) have been successfully applied to pyrolysis-GC-MS chromatogram of a tholin sample. Fundamental information on the mixture's chemical composition (number of components, m) and on the separation system performance (separation efficiency, σ) can be easily estimated: the excellent correspondence between the data calculated by the two independent procedures proves the reliability of the statistical approaches in characterizing a tholin chromatogram. Moreover, the plot of autocorrelation function contains, in a simplified form, all the information on the retention pattern: retention recursivities can be easily singled out and related to specific molecular structure variations. Therefore, the autocorrelation function (ACF) plot constitutes a simplified fingerprint of the pyrolysis products of tholins, which can be used as a powerful tool to characterize a tholin sample. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Analysis of complex mixtures recovered from space missions - Statistical approach to the study of Titan atmosphere analogues (tholins)

PIETROGRANDE, Maria Chiara;DONDI, Francesco
2001

Abstract

To study Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, laboratory simulation experiments have been performed to obtain analogues of Titan's aerosols (named tholins) using different energy sources. Tholins, which have been demonstrated to represent aerosols in Titan's haze layers, are a complex mixture, resulting from the chemical evolution of several hydrocarbons and nitriles. Their chromatographic analysis yields complex chromatograms, which require the use of mathematical procedures to extract from them all the information they contain. Two different chemometric approaches (the Fourier analysis approach and the statistical model of peak overlapping) have been successfully applied to pyrolysis-GC-MS chromatogram of a tholin sample. Fundamental information on the mixture's chemical composition (number of components, m) and on the separation system performance (separation efficiency, σ) can be easily estimated: the excellent correspondence between the data calculated by the two independent procedures proves the reliability of the statistical approaches in characterizing a tholin chromatogram. Moreover, the plot of autocorrelation function contains, in a simplified form, all the information on the retention pattern: retention recursivities can be easily singled out and related to specific molecular structure variations. Therefore, the autocorrelation function (ACF) plot constitutes a simplified fingerprint of the pyrolysis products of tholins, which can be used as a powerful tool to characterize a tholin sample. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Pietrogrande, Maria Chiara; Coll, P; Sternberg, R; Szopa, C; NAVARRO GONZALEZ, R; VIDAL MADJAR, C; Dondi, Francesco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1207617
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