Determination of organophosphorus chemical warfare agents and their hydrolysis products in soil by packed capillary liquid chromatography - electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS)


  1. D'Agostino, P.A.
  2. Hancock, J.R.
  3. Provost, L.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
An analytical method based on aqueous ultrasonic extraction and packed capillary LC-ESI-MS analysis was developed and compared to the existing GC-MS based method for the trace determination of organophosphorus chemical warfare agents and their hydrolysis products in contaminated soil. Three soils, a red clay, a tan sandy loam and a brown sandy clay loam, were selected and spiked with sarin and soman and their hydrolysis products, isopropyl methylphosphonic acid and pinacolyl methylphosphonic acid, at the 10 mu g/g level to assess recovery efficiency. Recovery of sarin and soman from the aqueous soil extracts was comparable to the existing analytical method, with a significant improvement in recovery being demonstrated for the chemical warfare agent hydrolysis products. Sarin and soman were recovered in the 20% to 90% range from the three soil types with aqueous extraction, while the hyrolysis products of these chemical warfare agents were extracted almost quantitatively, with recoveries in excess of 80% for all three soil types. The developed soil extraction and analysis method appears to be an attractive alternative to the GC-MS based method, since aqueous extracts containing chemical warfare agent hydrolysis products may be analysed directly, eliminating the need for additional sample handling and derivatization steps.
Sarin;Soman;LC/ESI/MS;Electrospray mass spectrometry;Packed capillary column liquid chromatography
Report Number
DRES-TR-2000-075 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Jun 2000
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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