A Fast Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometric Analysis of PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate), RDX (3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane) and HMX (Octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine) in Soil, Utilizing a Simple Ultrasonic-Assisted Extraction with Minimum Solvent

Anilanmert B., Aydın M., Apak R., Avci G. Y., Cengiz S.

ANALYTICAL SCIENCES, vol.32, no.6, pp.611-616, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.2116/analsci.32.611
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.611-616
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Direct analyses of explosives in soil using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods are very limited in the literature and require complex procedures or relatively high amount of solvent. A simple and rapid method was developed for the determination of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), 3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane (RDX) and octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), which are among the explosives used in terrorist attacks. A one-step extraction method for 1.00 g soil with 2.00 mL acetonitrile, and a 8-min LC-MS/MS method was developed. The detection limits for PETN, RDX and HMX were 5.2, 8.5 and 3.4 ng/g and quantitation limits were 10.0, 24.5, 6.0 ng/g. The intermediate precisions and Horwitz Ratio's were between 4.10 - 13.26% and 0.24 - 0.98, in order. This method was applied to a model post-blast debris collected from an artificial explosion and real samples collected after a terrorist attack in Istanbul. The method is easy and fast and requires less solvent use than other methods.