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Identification of homemade inorganic explosives by ion chromatographic analysis of post-blast residues


Johns, CA and Shellie, RA and Potter, OG and O'Reilly, JW and Hutchinson, JP and Guijt, RM and Breadmore, MC and Hilder, EF and Dicinoski, GW and Haddad, PR, Identification of homemade inorganic explosives by ion chromatographic analysis of post-blast residues, Journal of Chromatography A, 1182, (2) pp. 205-214. ISSN 0021-9673 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2008.01.014


Anions and cations of interest for the post-blast identification of homemade inorganic explosives were separated and detected by ion chromatographic (IC) methods. The ionic analytes used for identification of explosives in this study comprised 18 anions (acetate, benzoate, bromate, carbonate, chlorate, chloride, chlorite, chromate, cyanate, fluoride, formate, nitrate, nitrite, perchlorate, phosphate, sulfate, thiocyanate and thiosulfate) and 12 cations (ammonium, barium(II), calcium(II), chromium(III), ethylammonium, magnesium(II), manganese(II), methylammonium, potassium(I), sodium(I), strontium(II), and zinc(II)). Two IC separations are presented, using suppressed IC on a Dionex AS20 column with potassium hydroxide as eluent for anions, and non-suppressed IC for cations using a Dionex SCS 1 column with oxalic acid/acetonitrile as eluent. Conductivity detection was used in both cases. Detection limits for anions were in the range 2-27.4 ppb, and for cations were in the range 13-115 ppb. These methods allowed the explosive residue ions to be identified and separated from background ions likely to be present in the environment. Linearity (over a calibration range of 0.05-50 ppm) was evaluated for both methods, with r2 values ranging from 0.9889 to 1.000. Reproducibility over 10 consecutive injections of a 5 ppm standard ranged from 0.01 to 0.22% relative standard deviation (RSD) for retention time and 0.29 to 2.16%RSD for peak area. The anion and cation separations were performed simultaneously by using two Dionex ICS-2000 chromatographs served by a single autoinjector. The efficacy of the developed methods was demonstrated by analysis of residue samples taken from witness plates and soils collected following the controlled detonation of a series of different inorganic homemade explosives. The results obtained were also confirmed by parallel analysis of the same samples by capillary electrophoresis (CE) with excellent agreement being obtained. Crown Copyright © 2008.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Analytical chemistry
Research Field:Separation science
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences
UTAS Author:Johns, CA (Dr Cameron Johns)
UTAS Author:Shellie, RA (Associate Professor Robert Shellie)
UTAS Author:Potter, OG (Mr Oscar Potter)
UTAS Author:O'Reilly, JW (Dr John O'Reilly)
UTAS Author:Hutchinson, JP (Dr Joseph Hutchinson)
UTAS Author:Guijt, RM (Dr Rosanne Guijt)
UTAS Author:Breadmore, MC (Professor Michael Breadmore)
UTAS Author:Hilder, EF (Professor Emily Hilder)
UTAS Author:Dicinoski, GW (Associate Professor Gregory Dicinoski)
UTAS Author:Haddad, PR (Professor Paul Haddad)
ID Code:55174
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:69
Deposited By:Chemistry
Deposited On:2009-03-05
Last Modified:2009-05-01

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