Chemical Warfare Agent Detection in Complex Environments with Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography

Stephen E. Reichenbach, Mingtian Ni, Visweswara Kottapalli, Arvind Visvanathan, Edward B. Ledford, John Oostdijk, Henk C. Trap

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) is an emerging technology for chemical separation that provides an order-of-magnitude increase in separation capacity over traditional gas chromatography. GC×GC separates chemical species with two capillary columns interfaced by two-stage thermal desorption. Because GC×GC is comprehensive and has high separation capacity, it can perform multiple traditional analytical methods with a single analysis. GC×GC has great potential for a wide variety of environmental sensing applications, including detection of chemical warfare agents (CWA) and other harmful chemicals. This paper demonstrates separation of nerve agents sarin and soman from a matrix of gasoline and diesel fuel. Using a combination of an initial column separating on the basis of boiling point and a second column separating on the basis of polarity, GC×GC clearly separates the nerve agents from the thousands of other chemicals in the sample. The GC×GC data is visualized, processed, and analyzed as a two-dimensional digital image using a software system for GC×GC image processing developed at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventChemical and Biological Sensing IV - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 21 2003Apr 22 2003


  • CWA
  • Chemical detection
  • Chemical sensing
  • Chemical separations
  • Chemical warfare agents
  • Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography
  • GC×GC
  • Sarin
  • Soman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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