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Coupled reversed-phase and ion chromatographic system for the simultaneous identification of inorganic and organic explosives

journal contribution
posted on 2011-05-20, 00:00 authored by Eadaoin Tyrrell, Greg W Dicinoski, Emily F Hilder, Robert Shellie, Michael C Breadmore, Christopher A Pohl, Paul R Haddad
There are many methods available to detect and positively identify either organic or inorganic explosives separately, however no one method has been developed which can detect both types of explosive species simultaneously from a single sample. In this work, a unique coupled-chromatographic system is reported for the simultaneous determination of both organic and inorganic explosive species and is used for pre-blast analysis/identification purposes. This novel approach is based on the combination of reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography and ion chromatography which allows trace levels of organic and inorganic explosives to be determined simultaneously from a single sample. Using this procedure, a 20 min reversed-phase separation of organic explosives is coupled to a 16 min ion-exchange separation of anions present in inorganic explosives, providing a complete pre-blast analysis/identification system for the separation and detection of a complex mixture containing organic and/or inorganic explosive species. The total analysis time, including sufficient column re-equilibration between runs, was <25 min using the coupled system. By this method, the minimum resolution for the organic separation was 1.16 between nitroglycerin and tetryl and the detection limits ranged from 0.31 mg L(-1) for cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX) and 1.54 mg L(-1) for pentaerythrite tetranitrate (PETN), while the minimum resolution for the inorganic separation was 0.99 between azide and nitrate, and the detection limits ranged from 7.70 μg L(-1) for fluoride and 159.50 μg L(-1) for benzoate.



Journal of chromatography A






3007 - 3012




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Elsevier B.V.