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Issue 4, 2006
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Analysis of gaseous toxic industrial compounds and chemical warfare agent simulants by atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry

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Abstract

The suitability of atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry as sensing instrumentation for the real-time monitoring of low levels of toxic compounds is assessed, especially with respect to public safety applications. Gaseous samples of nine toxic industrial compounds, NH3, H2S, Cl2, CS2, SO2, C2H4O, HBr, C6H6 and AsH3, and two chemical warfare agent simulants, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) and methyl salicylate (MeS), were studied. API-MS proves highly suited to this application, with speedy analysis times (<30 seconds), high sensitivity, high selectivity towards analytes, good precision, dynamic range and accuracy. Tandem MS methods were implemented in selected cases for improved selectivity, sensitivity, and limits of detection. Limits of detection in the parts-per-billion and parts-per-trillion range were achieved for this set of analytes. In all cases detection limits were well below the compounds' permissible exposure limits (PELs), even in the presence of added complex mixtures of alkanes. Linear responses, up to several orders of magnitude, were obtained over the concentration ranges studied (sub-ppb to ppm), with relative standard deviations less than 3%, regardless of the presence of alkane interferents. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are presented to show the performance trade-off between sensitivity, probability of correct detection, and false positive rate. A dynamic sample preparation system for the production of gas phase analyte concentrations ranging from 100 pptr to 100 ppm and capable of admixing gaseous matrix compounds and control of relative humidity and temperature is also described.

Graphical abstract: Analysis of gaseous toxic industrial compounds and chemical warfare agent simulants by atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Sep 2005, accepted on 20 Dec 2005 and first published on 18 Jan 2006


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B513605A
Citation: Analyst, 2006,131, 579-589
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    Analysis of gaseous toxic industrial compounds and chemical warfare agent simulants by atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry

    I. Cotte-Rodríguez, D. R. Justes, S. C. Nanita, R. J. Noll, C. C. Mulligan, N. L. Sanders and R. G. Cooks, Analyst, 2006, 131, 579
    DOI: 10.1039/B513605A

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