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Chemosensors 2014, 2(2), 131-144;

Electrochemical Detection with Preconcentration: Nitroenergetic Contaminants

Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
Biomedical Engineering, Lawrence Technical University, Southfield, MI 48075, USA
US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402, USA
NOVA Research Incorporated, Alexandria, VA 22308, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Formerly at US Naval Research Laboratory. These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 23 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
PDF [623 KB, uploaded 10 June 2014]


This effort evaluated the potential of two prototype devices for enhanced electrochemical detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) following preconcentration using an organosilicate sorbent. The bench-scale prototype provides adsorption of the targets from aqueous solution followed by elution in a mixture of methanol and potassium chloride (KCl). Following elution, the eluant is diluted using an aqueous KCl solution to provide sufficient electrolyte for electrochemical analysis. Concentrations of methanol greater than 50% were detrimental to sensor performance and lifetime. Calibration of the electrochemical sensor was completed and results of electrochemical analysis were compared to those of HPLC analysis over a range of concentrations and in varied matrices. TNT detection was found to be consistent and detection limits were improved from 200 ppb to 3 ppb depending on the sample volume utilized. DNT detection showed higher variability and significantly greater false response rates. On the basis of these results, a second, more advanced, prototype was developed and utilized in limited field trials with the intention of moving the technology toward in situ applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitroenergetic; trinitrotoluene; dinitrotoluene; solid phase extraction; organosilica; environmental monitoring; field trials nitroenergetic; trinitrotoluene; dinitrotoluene; solid phase extraction; organosilica; environmental monitoring; field trials

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Johnson, B.J.; Nasir, M.; Siefert, R.L.; Leska, I.A.; Erickson, J.S.; Charles, P.T.; Melde, B.J.; Taft, J.R. Electrochemical Detection with Preconcentration: Nitroenergetic Contaminants. Chemosensors 2014, 2, 131-144.

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