© 1997, Dissolved In Water Incorporated. CEO's: Mike Lewis, Emma Teuten, and Paul Benny. All rights reserved.


DIW Inc. offers its customers the broad background of a multinational staff. To contact the three CEO's via electronic mail, click below on their names, or their countries flag.

Mike Lewis Emma Teuten Paul Benny

Group Meetings

Date Time Location Topics Discussed
9/10/97 9:45-10:00am Chemistry Library Group Name, guide lines, project ideas.
9/12/97 9:40-10:10am Chemistry Library Project idea (GC/MS and drugs).
9/14/97 9:40-10:10am Chemistry Library Narrowed project scope.
9/19/97 9:40-10:40am Chemistry Library Discussion of which companies to call.
9/23/97 10:30-11:30am Chemistry Library Discussed analysis and instrument requirements.
10/7/97 6:30-8:30pm Chemistry Library and CGSA computer lab Worked on comparison of quotes and write up for instruments.
10/9/97 6:00-10:30pm CGSA computer lab Final write up of project


The war on drugs requires quick and efficient analysis of contrabands. Unfortunately, rapid analysis becomes tougher each year because of the increasing number of drug related crimes. The resultant quandary for local district attorneys (DA's) stems from the firm stance on due process taken by the justice system. New York city is one place where this judicial problem is paramount. This is illustrated by the DA's court imposed deadline of three weeks for all drug analyses. Thus, Dissolved In Water Incorporated (DIW Inc.) has recently been hired by the New York City Police Department to aid them in their investigations of drug related crimes. Our task is to analyze materials that are seized from suspected drug distributors. The main emphasis of our work will be qualitatively determining whether the samples do indeed contain illegal drugs. We will be required to identify a vast number of compounds that vary greatly in their functionalization and molecular weight. Two such examples that describe this range are amphetamine with MW=135 and heroin with MW=323.


The most accurate and conclusive method for the identification of highly diverse compounds is gas chromatography coupled with a mass selective detector (GC-MS). This system will allow us to separate any impurities from the seized materials and analyze the components based on their molecular mass and fragmentation pattern. A simple comparison to predetermined standards will reveal what, if any, illicit drugs are present. GC-MS will thus offer us quick, qualitative analysis for the approximately 20 samples that we will receive daily. The only other spectroscopic method that would be useful for this project is infrared (IR) spectroscopy. The disadvantage of using IR spectroscopy would be the requirement to purify the samples first. This time consuming process is avoided with GC-MS.

The information age has broadened the scope of research. The World Wide Web allowed us quick and easy access to the companies who produce pre-assembled GC-MS's. We were then able to contact companies via electronic-mail, facsimile, and telephone. We narrowed the long list of companies who sell analytical devices by searching the internet and concentrated on distributors who sold bench-top GC-MS's. Consequently, our attention focused on the following five companies (click on their logos to visit their home page).

For this project DIW Inc. will be state-funded. While this means that money is not a major concern, we intend to respect the tax payer and purchase the equipment that is the best possible value. It is our intention to procure a bench-top GC-MS. This offers two advantages. First, this will allow us to hire a chemist with only a BS background, who could be easily trained on a generic GC-MS and would require less pay than a more educated chemist. Second, a bench-top GC-MS has the advantage of being pre-assembled. Hence, if technical problems arise a quick solution could be obtained from the distributor. A self-assembled GC-MS would require a highly educated mass spectroscopist for operation and maintenance. Therefore we are interested in a bench-top GC-MS which is both easy to use and to maintain. This automatically eliminated the high-end machines which all tend to be self-assembled, thus creating the above described dilemmas. Also, our primary concern is quick and basic qualitative analysis. Thus, an expensive GC-MS that performs a much wider range of tasks is not necessary nor cost efficient. The two companies that we decided to obtain quotes from were Hewlett Packard and JEOL. These two companies both offer bench-top devices with electron ionization (EI), positive chemical ionization (PCI) and negative chemical ionization (NCI). This would impart us the with the capability to perform analyses with multiple ionization sources. Such multiple analyses allow us to cross reference any questionable results and unambiguously report the presence of any contrabands.

The instruments that we obtained quotes for were the HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC from Hewlett Packard, and the JMS-GCmate from JEOL. The main difference between the two was the price. The Hewlett Packard GC-MS has a price tag of approximately $80,000.00, while the cost of the JEOL instrument was almost $160,000.00. Thus, our immediate goal was to discern whether the JEOL machine was worth twice as much. Both products offer EI, NCI and PCI capability. As we alluded to earlier, this is important because it lends confirmation to the analyses. If all three ionization techniques point to the presence of a certain drug, one can be certain the characterization is accurate. Another useful application offered by both instruments is the ability to monitor selected ions. This would allow the fragmentation pattern analysis of a specific analyte, while ignoring any other ions present in the sample. Considering that we will be dealing with illicit drugs, this feature is important as many of the samples may be impure. The JEOL system does offer some features that the Hewlett Packard instrument does not. For instance, the JEOL device has the capability of background subtraction and elemental analysis. However, both of these features are amenities that are not imperative to our work so long as we are able to monitor for selected ions. Despite being considerably cheaper, the Hewlett Packard machine offers features not present on the JEOL system. For example, the Hewlett Packard GC-MS is equipped with software that allows for complete automation from injection through data analysis. This will enable us to run the samples 24 hours day unmanned. Moreover, the Hewlett Packard device contains further software that allows for remote access of the GC-MS. This remote access will let us control the machine from any location, along with giving Hewlett Packard technicians the ability to immediately help with any mechanical problems. This will assure that the system experiences limited down time. The final point to make with regards to the two systems is that the GC component of the JEOL system is the HP 6890 GC. Thus, JEOL utilizes the Hewlett Packard GC in its GC-MS device. As a result, it is more expensive to purchase the HP 6890 GC through JEOL than it is through Hewlett Packard. Also, we are lead to the assumption that maintenance of the HP 6890 GC will be more expensive through JEOL than through Hewlett Packard.

As we already pointed out, the JEOL JMS-GCmate system is substantially more expensive than the Hewlett Packard HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC device. The following is a tabulated comparison of the components for each system (click on the instrument to visit its homepage).

HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC (Hewlett Packard) Price JEOL JMS-GCmate (JEOL) Price
HP6890/5973 GC/MS Performance System $62,280.00 JMS-GCmate $150,000.00
Ion Gauge Controller $1,197.00 Autosampler $9,350.00
Autosampler $8,415.00 - -
Product Installation $710.00 - -
NIST MS Spectral Library $1,800.00 - -
NIST Chemical Structures Library $724.50 - -
Consulting Service $3,800.00 - -
Total $79,026.50 Total $159,350.00
Quote Origin H. Weinfeld (fax response) Quote Origin B. DiPasquale (fax response)
Period Quote is valid 60 days Period Quote is valid 90 days

The MS component for the JEOL JMS-GCmate instrument includes a double-focusing ion optics bench, a multiple quadrupole-based focusing lens, and has EI, NCI and PCI capabilities. It has a mass range of 1000 au, and is coupled with an HP6890 gas chromatograph. The JMS-GCmate also comes equipped with a Pentium PC, an HP LaserJet, and the NIST MS Spectral Library. The MS component for the HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC contains a single gold quadrupole mass filter, and has a mass range of 800 au. Similar to the JMS-GCmate system, the HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC instrument also has EI, PCI and NCI capabilities. The cost discrepancy between the two quotes is that Hewlett Packard's price does not include tax, however it does include a ten percent discount. Conversely, JEOL's price does not have a discount, but it does include tax. Thus, an accurate comparison between the two quotes should include tax on the Hewlett Packard system, which would increase the its price by approximately $10,000.00.


Disregarding all monetary constraints, temptation would have lead us to purchase the JEOL system with its more glamorous attributes. Unfortunately, the impetus of business is cost-efficiency, and thus the research we have conducted unequivocally leads to Hewlett Packard's HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC instrument being best for DIW Inc. Hewlett Packard's system offers us three types of ionization, which will allow us to cross-reference all of our analyses. This internal check will lead to the most accurate results. The HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC system also lets us monitor for selected ions, which will help us isolate illicit substances from impure samples. Additionally, the Hewlett Packard instrument is equipped with software that enables it to run continuously for 24 hours. A comparison of Hewlett Packard and JEOL reveals that Hewlett Packard offers a superior maintenance plan to via remote access. Conversely, the JEOL JMS-GCmate does have the luxury of background subtraction and elemental analysis, however these are extras that are not required for DIW Inc. to competently meet its mandate. A major shortcoming of the JMS-GCmate is that JEOL uses Hewlett PackardÍs 6890 GC for the GC component. This undoubtedly results in an inflated purchase price, and would eventually lead to higher maintenance costs. All criteria being equal, however, the key issue that makes the Hewlett Packard HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC much more attractive than the JEOL JMS-GCmate is the price. For approximately half the cost of the JEOL JMS-GCmate, the Hewlett Packard HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC will perform all the tasks that DIW Inc. requires. Ergo, DIW Inc. will begin its war on drugs with a Hewlett Packard HP 5973 MSD/HP 6890 GC gas chromatography/mass spectrometry instrument.

Group Dynamics

Mike Lewis

I thought this project was a very good learning experience. We communicated ideas to each other quite well, and all three of us contributed our fair share. I would gladly work in a group with Paul and Emma again. My lone complaint about the whole endeavor is the lack of response from certain suppliers. I began to contemplate how some companies manage to stay in business when they exhibit a complete lack of interest in potential clients. Along these lines, Hewlett Packard was in a class by themselves with regards to response time. We only had to contact them once, and we received all of the information we asked for in less than 24 hours. Based on the way we were treated, I would highly reccomend Hewlett Packard over any of the other companies we studied.

Emma Teuten

I have found working in a group with Mike and Paul very beneficial, both on a personal (getting to know them both better) and an educational level (other peoples input and ideas always freshen my thoughts). We each got to do more of the things we are good at or enjoy, and less of the tasks we find more irksome. I had no problems with my coworkers-in fact the only problem I saw at all, was the uncooperative nature of the companies we were trying to contact. In short, I would enjoy working in such a group in the future.

Paul Benny

Group projects in the past for me have been basically an individual project thrust on the leader of the group due to lack of effort on the counterparts. Dissolved in Water operated in a with positive interactions within the group. The project was tackled equally by the group, everyone contributed to the project development process. The project was completed only because each person performed their duties as part of the group. The Lone Ranger would not have been as effective in this project. I enjoyed working with Emma and Mike. Each person was able to bring their individual expertise to aid the project. By working as a team, we were able to combine strengths and utilize our skills in a more efficient manor than as individuals.