Automated Resolution of Nontarget Analyte Signals in GC × GC-TOFMS Data Using Parallel Factor Analysis
We previously reported a method for the automated (objective) selection of a PARAFAC model having an appropriate number of factors for mathematical resolution of signal from a target analyte in GC ? GC-TOFMS data (i.e., for an analysis in which the identity of the analyte is known a priori). While the previous target method has been successfully applied in several studies, the target method requires that the identity of the analyte be known. Also, multiple applications of the target method are required in cases where several analytes of interest are present in a single subsection of the chromatogram. Thus, having to know the analyte identity a priori restricts the applicability of the automated implementation of PARAFAC. The method presented in this report generalizes the previous method to allow analysis of one or more nontarget analyte signals in a subsection of a GC ? GC-TOFMS chromatogram (i.e., for analyses when identities of analyte and interferences are not known a priori), thereby addressing and overcoming the limitations of the target method. Herein, we put the nontarget analyte PARAFAC method into theoretical context and illustrate the mechanics of the method using simulated data. We use real experimental GC ? GC-TOFMS data to demonstrate the broad applicability of the method, with various analysis situations selected to illustrate challenging chemical analysis scenarios.