Volume 24, Issue 4 (October 1979)
Analysis and Characterization of Military-Grade Trinitrotoluene by Gas Chromatography
Military grade trinitrotoluene (TNT), manufactured by complex nitration and purification procedures , contains over 99% α-2,4,6-trinitrotoluene and trace amounts of precursors, isomers, and oxidation by-products. The detection and determination of TNT and other explosives by gas chromatography (GC) has been reported by a number of authors and summarized in a recent review . Impurities in TNT have been identified by thin-layer chromatography , nuclear magnetic resonance , and GC [5–7]. The major impurities in commercial TNT were found to be 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT); 2,3,4-TNT; 2,3,5-TNT; and 2,4,5-TNT in reported concentrations of 0.1 to 0.4%, with traces of other DNT isomers detected. A novel method for characterizing TNT origins by means by variation in 13C/12C ratios has been reported .