Lim Chin Chin*, Chia Poh Ling, Irene Tan, Kuah K.L, Michael Tay Ming Kiong
57th AAFS, abstract no. B121 (oral presentation), (2004)
Also presented in 2nd HSA-NUS joint scientific Seminar proceedings.
This paper explores the use of high-speed gas chromatography with electron impact mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for the quick analysis and identification of high explosives. A faster and more efficient separation of a mixture of 14 organic explosives with improved resolution was achieved via different speeding approaches using a short narrow bore column (10 m x 0.1mm x 0.1mm). The significance and impact of each approach were evaluated by comparing retention times. There was a significant analysis time reduction of 4.5 fold and fast temperature programming was the most effective speeding approach for this column.
The various speeding approaches were also applied to a conventional long middle bore
column but the decrease in analysis time was found to be insignificant. Separation efficiency, peak resolution, reproducibility and limits of detection of each column were also investigated. These parameters were found to be better for the narrow bore column.
The effects of injector port temperature on peak broadening and sample decomposition were studied using a programmable temperature vapouriser (PTV). PTV successfully combined with high speed GC to reduce sample decomposition for the thermally labile nitrate esters and increase detection limits for the higher boiling compounds.