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Suspect screening and quantification of trace organic explosives in wastewater using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography-high resolution accurate mass spectrometry

Rapp-Wright, H; McEneff, G; Murphy, B; Gamble, S; Morgan, R; Beardah, M; Barron, L; (2017) Suspect screening and quantification of trace organic explosives in wastewater using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography-high resolution accurate mass spectrometry. Journal of Hazardous Materials , 329 (C) pp. 11-21. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.01.008. Green open access

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Abstract

The first comprehensive assessment of 34 solid phase extraction sorbents is presented for organic explosive residues in wastewater prior to analysis with liquid chromatography-high resolution accurate mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). A total of 18 explosives were selected including nitramines, nitrate esters, nitroaromatics and organic peroxides. Three polymeric divinylbenzene-based sorbents were found to be most suitable and one co-polymerised with n-vinyl pyrrolidone offered satisfactory recoveries for 14 compounds in fortified wastewater (77–124%). Limits of detection in matrix ranged from 0.026–23 μg L−1 with R2 ≥ 0.98 for most compounds. The method was applied to eight 24-h composite wastewater samples from a London wastewater works and one compound, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, was determined over five days between 332 and 468 g day−1 (225–303 ng L−1). To further exploit the suspect screening capability, 17 additional explosives, precursors and transformation products were screened in spiked wastewater samples. Of these, 14 were detected with recoveries from 62 to 92%, highlighting the broad applicability of the method. To our knowledge, this represents the first screen of explosives-related compounds in wastewater from a major European city. This method also allows post-analysis detection of new or emerging compounds using full-scan HRMS datasets to potentially identify and locate illegal manufacture of explosives via wastewater analysis.

Type: Article
Title: Suspect screening and quantification of trace organic explosives in wastewater using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography-high resolution accurate mass spectrometry
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.01.008
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.01.008
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Sample preparation; Micro-pollutants; Sewage epidemiology; Energetic materials; 2,4-dinitrotoluene
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1555634
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