Reactions of Organic Peroxides with Alcohols in Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization—the Pitfalls of Quantifying Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP)

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Over the last several decades, mass spectrometry has become one of the principle methods for compound identification and quantification. While for analytical purposes, fragments which are not fully characterized in terms of origin and intensity as a function of experimental conditions have been used, understanding the nature of those species is very important. Herein we discuss such issues relative to triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and its frequently observed fragment at m/z 89. This “fragment” has been identified as the gas-phase reaction product of TATP with one or two methanol molecules/ions. Additionally, the origin and conditions of other fragments at m/z 91, 75, and 74 associated with TATP will be addressed. Similar analytical issues associated with other multi-peroxide organic compounds [hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), methyl ethyl ketone peroxides (MEKP)] will also be discussed. Solution storage conditions for TATP, HMTD, and tetramethylene diperoxide diamine dialdehyde have been determined. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry