Determination of sarin, soman and their hydrolysis products in soil by packed capillary liquid chromatography - electrospray mass spectrometry


  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 liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) analysis was developed and compared to an existing gas chromatography (GC)-MS based method for the determination of sarin, soman and their hydrolysis products in contaminated soil. Three soils, a red clay, a tan sandy clay and a brown sandy clay loam, were spiked with sarin and soman and their initial 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 20-90% range from the three soil types with aqueous extraction, while the hydrolysis products of these chemical warfare agents were extracted with recoveries in excess of 80%. The development 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 derivation steps.
Electrospray mass spectrometry;LC/ESI/MS;CW identification;Electrospray mass spectroscopy;Chemical warfare agents;Organophosphorus compounds;Sarin;Packed capillary column liquid chromatography;Soman
Report Number
DRES-SL-00-183 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
18 Dec 2000
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Journal of Chromatography A, vol 912, 2001, p 291-299
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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