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Field and laboratory application of a gas chromatograph low thermal mass resistively heated column system in detecting traditional and non-traditional chemical warfare agents using solid phase micro-extraction /

by Koch, David R.

Abstract (Summary)
Title of Thesis: “Field and Laboratory Application of a Gas Chromatograph Low Thermal Mass Resistively Heated Column System in Detecting Traditional and Non-Traditional Chemical Warfare Agents using Solid Phase Micro-Extraction” Author: LCDR David R. Koch Master of Science in Public Health Thesis Directed by: CDR Gary Hook, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics Emergency response units (ERUs) need a chemical sampling and analysis method that will allow rapid, and accurate on-scene detection and identification of dangerous chemicals. Fast gas chromatography (FGC) using a low thermal mass, resistively heated, toroidal (LTM-RHT) column, along with solid phase microextraction (SPME) was used as an analytical method to sample and detect frank contamination of traditional chemical warefare agents (CWAs), CWA precursors, and non-traditional CWAs (i.e. narcotics). The research results were used to evaluate the ability of the LTM-RHT column to effectively separate and identify a complex mixture of CWAs in the laboratory and in the iii field, and to evaluate the ability of the LTM-RHT column coupled to a mass spectrometer to rapidly separate and identify a complex mixture of narcotics. Various sampling times and column temperature ramping rates were used to evaluate peak resolution (R), column efficiency (CE) and/or peak retention time (RT). The results of the CWA sampling and analysis indicate the LTM-RHT column assemblies could be used by an (ERU) to effectively analyze and detect frank chemical warfare agent contaminated clothing up to 75% faster than a column that is heated using a standard ramping rate for an air bath oven (ABO). The decrease in analysis time, to include system cool-down time, will allow for a potentially significant increase in the number of samples that can be analyzed within a given time period. The data of the CWA precursors shows that identification with sufficient peak separation of volatile analytes via FGC is obtainable. The work with non-traditional CWAs demonstrated that FGC can significantly reduce analysis retention time while maintaining adequate peak resolution, and column efficiency. iv
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School:Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

School Location:USA - Maryland

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:organophosphorus compounds chromatography gas mass fragmentography polymers fluorescence chemistry analytical environmental monitoring exposure time factors sensitivity and specificity occupational health disaster planning risk assessment specimen handling terrorism national security chemical warfare agents gases asphyxiating poisonous

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