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Issue 10, 2021

Non-contact detection of thiodiglycol vapors and associated degradation products using atmospheric flow tube mass spectrometry

Author affiliations

Abstract

Thiodiglycol (TDG) is a synthetic precursor and an environmental degradation product of sulfur mustard (HD). Consequently, its presence can be indicative of illicit preparation or historical presence of chemical weapons, but its lower toxicity lends itself to use as an HD simulant for testing and method development. Detection of TDG vapor often proves elusive with existing techniques exhibiting undesirably high detection limits in the gas phase (>ppm). Moreover, traditional approaches to detecting TDG vapor rely upon non-specific approaches that do not provide the certainty afforded by mass spectrometry. Using atmospheric flow tube mass spectrometry (AFT-MS), which has previously demonstrated the capacity to detect parts-per-quadrillion levels of vapor, we evaluate the capacity of this approach for non-contact residue analysis based upon TDG vapor sampling and nitrate clustering chemistry. Furthermore, we discuss challenges with ambient vapor detection using the AFT-MS system and associated observations related to TDG degradation into 2,2′-sulfonyldiglycol from exposure to ambient conditions with vapor detection being possible even after 7-weeks of sample aging.

Graphical abstract: Non-contact detection of thiodiglycol vapors and associated degradation products using atmospheric flow tube mass spectrometry

Article information


Submitted
06 Sep 2020
Accepted
31 Mar 2021
First published
08 Apr 2021

Analyst, 2021,146, 3263-3272
Article type
Paper

Non-contact detection of thiodiglycol vapors and associated degradation products using atmospheric flow tube mass spectrometry

K. A. Morrison and B. H. Clowers, Analyst, 2021, 146, 3263 DOI: 10.1039/D0AN01793K

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