alexa Fast analysis of high-energy compounds and agricultural chemicals in water with desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.
Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques

Author(s): Mulligan CC, MacMillan DK, Noll RJ, Cooks RG

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Abstract Novel sampling and detection methods using desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) are examined in the detection of explosives (RDX, TNT, HMX, and TNB) and agricultural chemicals (atrazine, alachlor and acetochlor) from aqueous matrices and authentic contaminated groundwater samples. DESI allows analysis of solid and liquid compounds directly from surfaces of interest with little or no sample preparation. Significant savings in analysis time and sample preparation are realized. The methods investigated here include (i) immediate analysis of filter paper wetted with contaminated water samples without further sample preparation, (ii) rapid liquid-liquid extraction (LLE), and (iii) analyte extraction from contaminated groundwater samples on-site using solid-phase extraction (SPE) membranes, followed by direct DESI analysis of the membrane. The wetted filter paper experiment demonstrates the maximum sample throughput for DESI analysis of aqueous matrices but has inadequate sensitivity for some of these analytes. Both the LLE and the SPE methods have adequate sensitivity. The resulting SPE membranes and/or small volume solvent extracts produced in these experiments are readily transported to off-site facilities for direct analysis by DESI. This realizes a significant reduction in the costs of sample shipping compared with those for typical liter-sized samples of groundwater. Total analysis times for these preliminary DESI analyses are comparable with or shorter than those for GC/MS and limits of detection approach environmental action levels for these compounds while maintaining a modest relative standard deviation. Tandem mass spectrometric data is used to provide additional specificity as needed. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This article was published in Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques

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