The investigation of clandestine laboratories poses serious hazards for first responders, emergency services, investigators and the surrounding public due to the risk of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in the manufacture of illicit substances. A novel gas sampling interface using open microfluidic channels that enables the extraction of VOCs out of the gas phase and into a liquid, where it can be analysed by conventional detection systems, has recently been developed. This paper investigates the efficiency and effectiveness of such a gas-to-liquid (GTL) extraction system for the extraction of amphetamine-type substances (ATS) and their precursors from the vapour phase. The GTL interface was evaluated across a range of different ATS and their precursors (methamphetamine, dimethylamphetamine, N-formylmethamphetamine, benzaldehyde, phenyl-2-propanone, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine) at concentrations ranging between 10 and 32 mg m−3
. These gas samples were produced by a gas generation system directly in Tedlar®
bags and gas canisters for controlled volume sampling. When using gas sampled from Tedlar®
bags, four of the seven compounds were able to be extracted by the GTL interface, with the majority of the VOCs having extraction yields between 0.005% and 4.5%, in line with the results from an initial study. When samples were taken from gas canisters, only benzaldehyde was able to be detected, with extraction efficiencies between 0.2% and 0.4%. A custom-built mount for the GTL interface helped to automate the extraction process, with the aim of increasing extraction efficiency or reducing variability. However, the extraction efficiency did not improve when using this accessory, but the procedure did become more efficient. The results from the study indicated that the GTL interface could be employed for the collection of gaseous ATS and incorporated into mobile detection systems for onsite collection and analysis of volatile compounds related to ATS manufacture.
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