Mass spectrometric identification of an azobenzene derivative produced by smectite-catalyzed conversion of 3-amino-4-hydroxyphenylarsonic acid.
The compound 3-amino-4-hydroxyphenylarsonic acid (3-amino-HPAA) reacts with smectite to form a soluble azobenzene arsonic acid compound. This reaction is of particular interest because it provides a possible mechanism for the formation of a new type of arsenic compound in natural water systems. 3-Amino-HPAA is a degradation product excreted by chickens that are fed rations amended with roxarsone. Roxarsone is used to control coccidial intestinal parasites in most of the broiler chickens grown in the United States. The structure of the azobenzene arsonic acid compound was first inferred from negative-ion and positive-ion low-resolution mass-spectrometric analyses of the supernatant of the smectite suspension. Elemental composition of the parent ion determined by high-resolution positive-ion mass spectrometric measurements was consistent with the proposed structure of the azobenzene arsonic acid compound.
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