Intramolecular non-covalent isotope effects at natural abundance associated with the migration of paracetamol in solid matrices during liquid chromatography


  • Julien Maxime
  • Liégeois Mathilde
  • Höhener Patrick
  • Paneth Piotr
  • Remaud Gérald


  • Position-specific isotope effects
  • Isotope enrichment factor
  • Migration
  • Paracetamol
  • Rayleigh equation irm-13C NMR
  • DFT calculations

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Position-specific isotope analysis by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometry was employed to study the 13C intramolecular isotopic fractionation associated with the migration of organic substrates through different stationary phases chromatography columns. Liquid chromatography is often used to isolate compounds prior to their isotope analysis and this purification step potentially alters the isotopic composition of target compounds introducing a bias in the later measured data. Moreover, results from liquid chromatography can yield the sorption parameters needed in reactive transport models that predict the transport and fate of organic contaminants to in the environment. The aim of this study was to use intramolecular isotope analysis to study both 13C and 15N isotope effects associated with the elution of paracetamol (acetaminophen) through different stationary phases and to compare them to effects observed previously for vanillin. Results showed very different intramolecular isotope fractionation profiles depending on the chemical structure of the stationary phase. The data also demonstrate that both the amplitude and the distribution of measured isotope effects depend on the nature of the non-covalent interactions involved in the migration process. Results provided by theoretical calculation performed during this study also confirmed the direct link between observed intramolecular isotope fractionation and the nature of involved intermolecular interactions. It is concluded that the nature of the stationary phase through which the substrate passes has a major impact on the intramolecular isotopic composition of organic compounds isolated by chromatography methods..

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