• Application Note

Explosives separation by UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography

Explosives separation by UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography

  • Waters Corporation
Boxes of high explosives

This is an Application Brief and does not contain a detailed Experimental section.

Abstract

UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) was successfully used to demonstrate the separation of 14 explosives in five minutes.

Benefits

Rapid analysis of 14 explosives was achieved.

Introduction

Explosives are typically analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC); however, long analysis times are encountered when using these analytical techniques. In addition, GC cannot be used for thermally labile compounds like tetryl. UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) was successfully used to demonstrate the separation of 14 explosives in five minutes.

Experimental

Method Conditions

System:

ACQUITY UPC2

Detection:

Photodiode Array (PDA)

PDA 3D Channel PDA, 205 to 400 nm;

PDA 2D Channel 220 nm at 4.8 nm resolution (compensated 500 to 600 nm)

Column:

ACQUITY UPC2 HSS C18 3.0 x 100 mm, 1.8 μm

Mobile phase A:

CO2

Mobile phase B:

Acetonitrile

Wash solvents:

70:30 methanol/isopropanol

Separation mode:

Start at 1% B for 0.5 min, then gradient to 15% B over 2.5 min, hold for 0.5 min, back to 1% B in 0.1 min

Flow rate:

2.0 mL/min

UPC2 Manager:

1500 psi

Column temp.:

65 °C

Sample temp.:

10 °C

Injection volume:

1.0 μL

Run time:

5.0 min

Software:

Empower 3

Results and Discussion

Explosives analysis is performed not only by environmental laboratories but also by manufacturers of reference standards for regulated EPA methods. The current methods have long analysis times, and must be run on orthogonal columns (i.e., C18 and either cyano or phenyl) to achieve the required chromatographic resolution. UPC2 achieves baseline resolution for 14 common explosives in a five-minute method.

 UPC2 chromatogram for 14 explosives Figure 1. UPC2 chromatogram for 14 explosives using 0.07 mg/mL of acetonitrile.

Conclusion

Rapid analysis of 14 explosives was achieved. UPC2 is amenable to thermally labile compounds like tetryl. It is also possible to separate structural isomers of nitro-aromatic compounds, as demonstrated by the separation of different nitrotoluene isomers. 

720004499, November 2012

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