Breakthrough study for Waters, Sep-Pak® Vac 6cc (500 mg) Porapak® RDX cartridges for the retention of nitroglycerin


  1. Poulin, I.
  2. Walsh, M.E.
  3. Hewitt, A.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
Analysis of water samples from military ranges and training areas as well as from explosive manufacturing plants is common. Water samples can come from groundwater wells, lakes, streams, rivers and ponds. The preconcentration of explosive materials from these aqueous solutions is necessary to allow system compatibility (i.e. some analytical systems can process samples in organic solvent) and to ensure that the concentration are above detection limit. Preconcentrating the sample is done using a Solid Phase Extraction cartridge. The experiments described in this note were aimed at determining if it is possible to extract a volume larger than the common 1L or if breakthrough happens when using the standard cartridge for energetics (Waters SepPak Porapak RDX (500 mg)). Nitroglycerin (NG) was chosen as the analyte and it was analyzed using a liquid chromatography (HPLC) system with dual wavelength detector. For a 1 mg/L NG solution, results show that the retention decreases slowly with the increasing volume processed on the cartridge, after 2 L, the retention of NG was still over 96%, and after 4-L, the retention is still over 86%.
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TN-2012-073 — Technical Note
Date of publication
01 Nov 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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