5 years ago

Indirect Determination of Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) with a gold nanoparticles−based colorimetric sensor

Indirect Determination of Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) with a gold nanoparticles−based colorimetric sensor
Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) is the nitrate ester of pentaerythritol, used as an energetic and filling material for military and civilian purposes and rarely for terrorist actions. As there is no reliable nano-colorimetric method for PETN assay, we developed an indirect method based on the determination of nitrite, obtained by reduction of nitrate derived from the alkaline hydrolysis of PETN with H2O2. We colorimetrically determined the final product, nitrite, by both conventional Griess reaction and a recently developed gold nanoparticle-4-aminothiophenol-N-(1-naphthyl)-ethylenediamine (AuNP−4-ATP+NED) method. Nitramines (RDX and HMX), if present, could be degraded by alkaline hydrolysis, without affecting PETN. The analytical performance characteristics of the developed assays as molar absorptivity (ε), limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were: ɛ=1.06×105 L mol−1 cm−1, LOD=0.03mgL−1 and LOQ=0.11mgL−1 for indirect Griess method; ɛ=1.9×104 Lmol−1 cm−1; LOD=0.12mgL−1 and LOQ=0.4mgL−1 for AuNP−4-ATP+NED method. Both methods were applied to a 1:1 (w/w) mixture of PETN and TNT (corresponding to the composition of military explosive ‘Pentolite’). In order to eliminate the interference from TNT, the Meisenheimer anion of TNT formed in alkaline medium was retained on a strongly basic anion exchange resin column. As PETN had a very low solubility in water, common soil ions could be eliminated by prewashing the sample with water, or in acetone-water mixtures, Ca2+, K+, Cl-, SO4 2-, and NO3 - could be tolerated at equal (1:1) mass ratios. Soil nitrates and nitrites, at a mass ratio of 50:1, could be separated from PETN with the aid of their insolubilities in acetone and of their retention affinity toward a strongly basic anion-exchange resin. The developed method was statistically validated against a reference GC-MS method.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0039914017306847

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