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Separation and Detection of Smokeless Powder Additives by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry UPLC/MS/MS

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 58 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2013 Pages: 609-615
Date Published
May 2013
7 pages
A reversed phase gradient ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry UPLC/MS/MS method has been developed for the analysis of smokeless powders.
A total of 20 different components were separated by UPLC and detected by MS/MS in multiple reaction monitoring MRM mode. These compounds included diphenylamines, centralites, nitrotoluenes, nitroglycerin, and various phthalates. Simultaneous positive and negative electrospray ionization ESI was used along with negative atmospheric pressure chemical ionization APCI to detect all compounds in a single analysis. Analysis times were under 8 min with a gradient of 10-73 percent organic at a flow rate of 0.500 mL/min. With this method, ultraviolet and MRM limits of detection ranging from 0.08 to 2.6 ng and 0.4-64 ng injected were achieved. Commercially available smokeless powders were also extracted with methylene chloride and characterized using the developed UPLC/MS/MS method. The procedure permits the determination of compositional differences between different brands as well as lot-to-lot variations. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.

Date Published: May 1, 2013