Optimized Method for Analysis of Ethanolamines, Hydrolysis Products of Nitrogen Mustards, from Urine Samples Using LC-MS/MS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Highly polar ethanolamines (EAs), excreted in urine, are hydrolysis products of nitrogen mustards (NMs), which are prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The methods established for biological matrices are essential for verification analysis of the CWC related chemicals. This paper describes a new liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method developed for qualitative and quantitative analysis of EAs, N-ethyldiethanolamine (EDEA), N-methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) and triethanolamine (TEAOH) from urine samples. After optimization of sample preparation and chromatographic conditions, the method was fully validated. Silica solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges and a porous graphite carbon (PGC) column were selected for validation studies. The method is linear from 5 to 500, 0.5 to 250, and 0.5 to 500 ng/mL for TEAOH, EDEA, and MDEA, respectively. It is also precise and accurate. A minimum sample amount of 0.5 mL urine was used. The limit of quantification using this approach was 0.4, 5.5, and 6.3 ng/mL for MDEA, EDEA and TEAOH, respectively. The combination of the PGC column and high pH eluents in analysis retained and separated the studied EAs. Retention times were 2.11, 2.56 and 2.98 min for MDEA, EDEA and TEAOH, respectively. The method is applicable for verification analysis of the CWC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122762
JournalJournal of Chromatography. B
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Nitrogen mustards
  • Ethanolamines
  • High pH eluents
  • Porous graphitic carbon
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Tandem mass spectrometry
  • 116 Chemical sciences

Cite this