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Journal of chromatography. A

Optimisation of solvent desorption conditions for chemical warfare agent and simulant compounds from Porapak Q using experimental design. I. Methyl salicylate and di(propylene glycol) monomethyl ether.


PMID 15233533

Abstract

Factorial design (FD) was applied in order to develop an optimised method for the detection of chemical warfare (CW) agent simulant compounds on Porapak Q. Application of FD allowed study of the adsorption/desorption mechanism of analytes. Di(propylene glycol) monomethyl ether (DPM) and methyl salicylate (MS) were selected for study as both compounds are employed in agent simulation trials but are currently analysed by different methods. An analytical method for simultaneous determination of both compounds was developed using solvent desorption. The optimised method identified non-polar interactions as the primary adsorption/desorption mechanism. Steel tubes were shown to be more suited for sampling of simulants, due to lower variability in recovery compared to glass tubes. Atmospheric detection limits for both simulants were estimated to be 0.2 mg m(-3) allowing the trace analysis of these compounds by gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID).