Features of the identification of trialkyl phosphites in reaction mixtures and their characterization by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry

I. G. Zenkevich, V. E. Nosova

Research output


The interaction of aliphatic alcohols ROH with phosphorus trichloride in the absence of bases leads to the formation of exclusively dialkyl phosphonates (RO)2PHO. To obtain trialkyl phosphites (RO)3P, insufficiently described to date, the pH of the reaction mixtures was adjusted by adding N,N-dimethylaniline (pKa 5.1 ± 0.1). The identification of trialkyl phosphites directly in reaction mixtures without preparative isolation implies a joint consideration of their mass spectra and gas chromatographic retention indices, provided that all other components of such mixtures are identified. The need to comply with this condition has led to the identification of several homologues of a previously uncharacterized series of 2-alkoxy-1,3,2-dioxaphospholanes, formed from a random admixture of ethylene glycol. The use of such combined mass spectrometric parameters as homologous increments of retention indices helps to distinguish trialkyl phosphites from isobaric dialkyl phosphonates; the compounds of both series belong to the homologous group of y = 12, y ≡ M(mod14). Despite the absence of molecular ion signals in the electron ionization (EI) mass spectra, the molecular weights of trialkyl phosphites can be estimated. In addition, a comparison of the homologous increments of retention indices shows that, compared with dialkyl phosphonates, trialkyl phosphites are significantly less polar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1319
JournalJournal of Analytical Chemistry
Issue number13
Early online date30 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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