Micellar electrokinetic chromatography of organic and peroxide-based explosives
Johns, C and Hutchinson, JP and Guijt, RM and Hilder, EF and Haddad, PR and Macka, M and Nesterenko, PN and Gaudry, AJ and Dicinoski, GW and Breadmore, MC, Micellar electrokinetic chromatography of organic and peroxide-based explosives, Analytica Chimica Acta, 876 pp. 91-97. ISSN 0003-2670 (2015) [Refereed Article]
CE methods have been developed for the analysis of organic and peroxide-based explosives. These methods have been developed for deployment on portable, in-field instrumentation for rapid screening. Both classes of compounds are neutral and were separated using micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC). The effects of sample composition, separation temperature, and background electrolyte composition were investigated. The optimised separation conditions (25 mM sodium tetraborate, 75 mM sodium dodecyl sulfate at 25 °C, detection at 200 nm) were applied to the separation of 25 organic explosives in 17 min, with very high efficiency (typically greater than 300,000 plates m−1) and high sensitivity (LOD typically less than 0.5 mg L−1; around 1–1.5 μM). A MEKC method was also developed for peroxide-based explosives (10 mM sodium tetraborate, 100 mM sodium dodecyl sulfate at 25 °C, detection at 200 nm). UV detection provided LODs between 5.5 and 45.0 mg L−1 (or 31.2–304 μM), which is comparable to results achieved using liquid chromatography. Importantly, no sample pre-treatment or post-column reaction was necessary and the peroxide-based explosives were not decomposed to hydrogen peroxide. Both MEKC methods have been applied to pre-blast analysis and for the detection of post-blast residues recovered from controlled, small scale detonations of organic and peroxide-based explosive devices.