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Electrochemical detection of 14 common munitions constituents


Electrochemical detections of 14 munitions constituents (MCs) listed on the Environmental Protection Agency hazardous waste list were examined using square wave voltammetry. Of the MCs that showed peak resolution in the scanned range, the reduction potential, limit of detection and limit of quantitation are reported here. The MCs tested are in three groups: nitrobenzenes, nitrotoluenes, and other nitro-aromatics: tetryl, HMX, and RDX. There was a correlation between peak resolution and the number of nitro groups for the nitrobenzenes and nitrotoluenes. The nitro group distance from the methyl for the nitrotoluenes with two nitro groups showed some correlation to the ability to detect as well. Some mixture experiments were conducted in which MCs with three and two nitro groups were detected simultaneously. While tetryl readily displayed two peaks, RDX and HMX did not show such clear peak resolution.

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This work was supported by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi Contract Number W912HZ-06-C-0034. The following cadets and former cadets of the US Military Academy and former student of Columbia University are gratefully recognized for their lab work on this project: Greg Walker, Aaron Devig, Henry Harpen, Gordon Shu, Jeffery Chin, Seth Johnson, Erik Moore, Branko Kovacevic, Nathan Held, Lauren Ng, Aaron Beyea, Harrison Heath, Zach Bowers, and Brian Albert.

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Correspondence to Robert G. Bozic.

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Bozic, R.G., West, A.C. Electrochemical detection of 14 common munitions constituents. J Appl Electrochem 44, 293–300 (2014).

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  • Electrochemical detection
  • Munitions constituents
  • Square wave voltammetry