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Browsing by Subject "A-234"

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  • Youngren, Cristina (2023)
    Novichok nerve agents are persistent, highly toxic chemical weapons which were added to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2020 after their use on civilians in England. The detection and characterization of Novichok nerve agents and the degradation products formed after their exposure to decontamination products can be accomplished through complementary instrumental analyses. Chromatographic methods such as LC-MS/MS can be utilized to qualitatively detect Novichok degradation products such as hydrolysates and LC-HRMS can provide information about their structure via the elemental composition and fragmentation pathways. By contrasting these data to spectroscopic techniques such as 1H and 31P NMR, structural elucidation of decontamination products is possible as well as the determination of the kinetics of the decontamination process itself. The literature review contains a summary of all published instrumental methods with which Novichok nerve agents, degradation products, biomarkers and adducts have been analyzed and the efficacy of those methods. In the experimental research, Novichok nerve agent A-234 was decontaminated via six different decontaminants and analyzed by LC-MS/MS to identify the mass spectra of the degradation products of each, followed by LC-HRMS analysis to determine the elemental composition and fragmentation patterns of the degradation products. The A-234 rate of hydrolysis kinetics were measured by 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopy in three of the decontaminants and when possible, two dimensional analysis was used to correlate the structural data from the chromatographic analysis. Lastly, the A-234 hydrolysate was derivatized via TMSDAM methylation for GC-MS/MS analysis after testing with two silylating and three methylating agents. Decontamination of A-234 was successful within 48 hours with three decontamination agents and complete hydrolysis was observed within 5 hours with an oxidizer-containing quaternary salt based decontamination agent.