Facility monitoring of chemical warfare agent simulants in air using an automated, field-deployable, miniature mass spectrometer

Authors

  • Jonell N. Smith,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
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  • Robert J. Noll,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
    2. Center for Analytical Instrument Development, Purdue University, Bindley Bioscience Center, West Lafayette, IN, USA
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  • R. Graham Cooks

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Analytical Instrument Development, Purdue University, Bindley Bioscience Center, West Lafayette, IN, USA
    • Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
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R. G. Cooks, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, 560 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

E-mail: cooks@purdue.edu

Abstract

Vapors of four chemical warfare agent (CWA) stimulants, 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES), diethyl malonate (DEM), dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), and methyl salicylate (MeS), were detected, identified, and quantitated using a fully automated, field-deployable, miniature mass spectrometer. Samples were ionized using a glow discharge electron ionization (GDEI) source, and ions were mass analyzed with a cylindrical ion trap (CIT) mass analyzer. A dual-tube thermal desorption system was used to trap compounds on 50:50 Tenax TA/Carboxen 569 sorbent before their thermal release. The sample concentrations ranged from low parts per billion [ppb] to two parts per million [ppm]. Limits of detection (LODs) ranged from 0.26 to 5.0 ppb. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are presented for each analyte. A sample of CEES at low ppb concentration was combined separately with two interferents, bleach (saturated vapor) and diesel fuel exhaust (1%), as a way to explore the capability of detecting the simulant in an environmental matrix. Also investigated was a mixture of the four CWA simulants (at concentrations in air ranging from 270 to 380 ppb). Tandem mass (MS/MS) spectral data were used to identify and quantify the individual components. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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