Chemical agent research
As well as the detection of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) for homeland security and for the monitoring of stockpiled and non-stockpiled agent, a considerable amount of research has been undertaken to counter the hazard posed by CWAs.
Research into CWAs draws on a number of techniques, including on-line and off-line monitoring, but additionally is concerned with how CWAs interact with materials.
This has application, for example, in developing protective equipment for military personnel.
What Markes can offer
The study of chemicals released by materials is a growing field of application for thermal desorption, and advances made in this field are also applicable to CWA research. In particular, Markes’ Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor has the following applications:
- Screening for surface contamination of chemical warfare agents at an incident site.
- Substrate analysis after decontamination to assess cleaning efficiency.
- Retention characteristics of chemical warfare agents on different substrates.
- Investigations into the use of surface coatings to reduce contamination by chemical warfare agents.
- For more background to chemical warfare agents and the analytical challenge they pose, see: T. Murphy, G. Roberts and G. Davies, Chemical warfare agents and use of thermal desorption-GC-MS to achieve improved trace-level detection, Spectroscopy, April 2009.
- For an example of the detection of CWA simulants with an analytical setup using the TT24-7 continuously-sampling thermal desorber, fast GC and BenchTOF-dx time-of-flight mass spectrometer, see: J. Leppert, G. Horner, F. Rietz, J. Ringer, P. Schulze Lammers and P. Boeker, Near real time detection of hazardous airborne substances, Talanta, 2012, 101: 440–446.
- For examples of the use of thermal desorption to analyse trace-level high-boiling compounds with similar characteristics to many CWAs, see Application Notes 034 and 039.
- For more detail on the detection of free-VX using thermal desorption, see Application Note 044.
- For information on the detection of trace-level chemical agents in air using thermal desorption, see Application Note 063.