In most scientific literature on CWA measurements, analogues have been used because of the restricted access to live agents even for analytical purposes. We therefore took our compact PTR-TOF devices to measurement campaigns at certified facilities in the Czech Republic and in Austria.
At the first campaign we found that our patented (EP3503161) NH4+ reagent ion production method is particularly beneficial for sensitive CWA detection. Even with the most compact PTR-TOF QB model (two stackable and separable 19" cubes) we determined 1 s LoDs between 10 and 30 pptv (10-12) for the CWAs nitrogen mustard, soman, sarin, cyclosarin, tabun and VX.
For the second campaign we utilized a high mass resolution PTR-TOF 6000 to investigate residual CWA gas phase concentrations above various surfaces (from metal and glass to pig skin) before and after decontamination with different common decontamination agents. We found that only after the treatment with some of these agents and only for absolutely smooth surfaces no residual contamination could be detected anymore.
These results confirm that IONICON PTR-TOF is indeed perfectly suited for the real-time verification of the absence of highly toxic compounds, such as CWAs.