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Separation and Identification of Smokeless Gunpowder Additives by Capillary Electrochromatography

NCJ Number
Journal of Chromatography A Volume: 1267 Dated: 2012 Pages: 259-265
Date Published
7 pages

This article reports on a method for the separation and identification of 14 organic compounds commonly found as constituents in commercial smokeless powders using a hexyl acrylate-based porous monolith.


Capillary electrochromatography (CEC) coupled to UV and time of flight-mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) methods were both explored. The CEC–UV method provides an effective and efficient method for the detection of all components in the additive package of the powder. The TOF-MS procedure provides better sensitivity and selectivity, enabling an additional confirmation of the presence of the subset of those compounds, which are detectable via positive and/or negative ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Both methods were used for the analysis of smokeless powder components in a mixed standard, as well as in the determination of the composition of the additive package of individual powders. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2012