Quantification of nitroaromatic explosives in contaminated soil using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

  • Contamination from various sources is a global environmental and health threat, with mining and military activities in particular having spread nitroaromatic compounds, such as 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene and its degradation products and by-products, to the soil. The investigation and monitoring of large contaminated areas requires new detection methods since the established ones are expensive and time-consuming. Hence, we established a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI--TOF MS) method using 1,5-diaminonaphthalene as the matrix substance and an internal standard for quantification. Analyzing standard substances, we found specific signals for radical and fragment ions of different nitrotoluenes and nitrobenzenes with good reproducibility and detection limits down to 0.25 ng/μL. The analysis of soil sample extracts from a former production site showed clear signals for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene and the primary degradation products aminodinitrotoluenes. Furthermore, quantification gave results comparable to those obtained by conventional liquid chromatography--tandem mass spectrometry analysis. The MALDI-TOF MS method has a comparatively lower reproducibility, with relative standard deviations of 6% to 20% for multiple measurements of standard solutions and soil sample extracts. Nevertheless, a comparison of both methods revealed the advantages of MALDI-TOF MS analysis of explosive-contaminated areas with regard to costs, time, and handling. Finally, our MALDI-TOF MS method fulfills all the needs for high sample throughput and can therefore be a valuable screening tool for explosive-contaminated areas.

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Author:Liane Kober, Henner HollertORCiD, Marcus FrohmeORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Document Type:Article
Year of Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Technische Hochschule Wildau
Release Date:2019/09/02
Tag:Explosives; Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization quantification; Soil contamination; TNT
First Page:5993
Last Page:6003
Source:Kober, S.L., Hollert, H. & Frohme, M. Anal Bioanal Chem (2019) 411: 5993. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-01976-y
Faculties an central facilities:Fachbereich Ingenieur- und Naturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International
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