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Proceedings Paper

Photo-assisted electrochemical detection (PAED) following HPLC-UV for the determination of nitro explosives and degradation products
Author(s): J. Fedorowski; William R. LaCourse; Michelle M. Lorah
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Paper Abstract

Continuous efforts implemented by government agencies such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS) aim to manage and protect the integrity of the environment's natural resources. RDX is one of the most frequently utilized nitramine explosives for mining, demolition and munitions purposes in the United States (US). The degradation of RDX in natural environments is of particular importance as a result of the accumulation of consequential degradation products in nature. Specifically, RDX has the potential to be degraded by microorganisms resulting in hazardous levels of harmful degradation products in soil and groundwater. The necessity for the detection of these particular degradation products is emphasized as a consequence of their toxicity as these products are recognized as potential mutagens. Photo-assisted electrochemical detection (PAED) following HPLC-UV is used to develop an analytical method qualified for the assessment of RDX and degradation products. The technique offers unique selectivity possessed by the photochemical reactor coupled to EC detection serving to eliminate the need for repetitive analysis using different column technologies. Furthermore, on-line sample pretreatment is developed and optimized specifically for the preparation of samples consisting of RDX and degradation products. Analytical figures of merit determined for all target analytes using on-line SPE-HPLC-UV-PAED revealed detection limits in the sub part per billion range for RDX and degradation product MEDINA. The effectiveness of the method is exemplified in collaborative studies with the USGS in monitoring the degradation of RDX and formation of degradation products once the nitro explosive is subject to anaerobic microorganisms WBC-2.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8358, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII, 83580U (5 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918360
Show Author Affiliations
J. Fedorowski, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (United States)
William R. LaCourse, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (United States)
Michelle M. Lorah, U.S. Geological Survey (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8358:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII
Augustus Way Fountain, Editor(s)

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