Electrospray Mass Spectrometry of Chemical Warfare Agents, Degradation Products and Related Compounds


  1. D'Agostino, P.A.
  2. Chenier, C.L.
  3. Hancock, J.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Over the past several years Defence Research Establishment Suffield (DRES) developed LC-ESI-MS methods for the analysis of a variety of samples of chemical defence interest. These samples included hydrolysed munitions grade mustard, degraded O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothiolate (VX), snow contaminated with sarin (GB) and soman (GD), munitions grade tabun (GA), failed synthetic products and synthetic standards. During these investigations DRES acquired ESI-MS data for sixty chemical warfare agents, degradation products and related compounds. Data were obtained with a resolution of 5000 (50% valley definition) in the continuum mode at several sampling cone voltages. At lower sampling cone voltages the mass spectra were dominated by protonated, sodiated and protonated acetonitrile adducts and/or their dimers that could be used to confirm the molecular mass of each compound. Structural information was obtained by inducing product ion formation in the ESI interface at higher sampling cone voltages. Representative obtained at both a lower and higher sampling cone voltage were selected for entry into the DRES ESI-MS Database as part of a collaboration between Canada (DRES) and The Netherlands (TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory).

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Liquid chromatography;Mass spectrometry;Chemical warfare agents;Chemical attack (Degradation);Electrospray;CB agents;Degradation products
Report Number
DRES-TR-2002-028 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2002
Number of Pages
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