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Determination of nitroaromatic, nitramine, and nitrate ester explosives in soil by gas chromatography and an electron capture detector.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18968268     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Hazardous waste site characterization, forensic investigations, and land mine detection are scenarios where soils may be collected and analyzed for traces of nitroaromatic, nitramine, and nitrate ester explosives. These thermally labile analytes are traditionally determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); however, commercially available deactivated injection port liners and wide-bore capillary columns have made routine analysis by gas chromatography (GC) possible. The electron-withdrawing nitro group common to each of these explosives makes the electron capture detector (ECD) suitable for determination of low concentrations of explosives in soil, water, and air. GC-ECD and HPLC-UV concentration estimates of explosives residues in field-contaminated soils from hazardous waste sites were compared, and correlation (r>0.97) was excellent between the two methods of analysis for each of the compounds most frequently detected: 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT), 1,3-dinitrobenzene (1,3-DNB), 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene (TNB), and octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX). The analytes were extracted from soils with acetonitrile by 18 h of sonication in a cooled ultrasonic bath. Two soil-to-solvent ratios were evaluated: 2.00 g:10.00 ml and 25.0 g:50.0 ml. GC-ECD method detection limits were similar for the two soil-to-solvent ratios and were about 1 mug kg(-1) for the di- and trinitroaromatics, about 10 mug kg(-1) for the mono-nitroaromatics, 3 mug kg(-1) for RDX, 25 mug kg(-1) for HMX, and between 10 and 40 mug kg(-1) for the nitrate esters (nitroglycerine [NG] and pentaerythritol tetranitrate [PETN]). Spike recovery studies revealed artifacts introduced by the spiking procedure. Recoveries were low in some soils if the amount of soil spiked was large (25.0 g) compared to the volume of spike solution added (1.00 ml). Recoveries were close to 100% when 2.00-g soil samples were spiked with 1.00 ml of solution. Analytes most frequently found in soils collected near buried land mines were the microbial transformation products of TNT (2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene [2-Am-DNT] and 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene [4-Am-DNT]), manufacturing impurities of TNT (2,4-DNT, 2,6-DNT, and 1,3-DNB), and TNT. The microbial reduction products of the isomers of DNT and of 1,3-DNB were also detected, but the ECD response to these compounds is poor.
Authors:
M E Walsh
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Talanta     Volume:  54     ISSN:  1873-3573     ISO Abbreviation:  Talanta     Publication Date:  2001 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-10-30     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984816R     Medline TA:  Talanta     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  427-38     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755-1290, USA.
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