Improved sampling and detection of ignitable liquid residues and explosives by mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry

Jeannette Perr, Florida International University

Abstract

Fire debris evidence is submitted to crime laboratories to determine if an ignitable liquid (IL) accelerant was used to commit arson. An ignitable liquid residue (ILR) may be difficult to analyze due to interferences, complex matrices, degradation, and low concentrations of analytes. Debris from an explosion and pre-detonated explosive compounds are not trivial to detect and identify due to sampling difficulties, complex matrices, and extremely low amounts (nanogram) of material present. The focus of this research is improving the sampling and detection of ILR and explosives through enhanced sensitivity, selectivity, and field portable instrumentation. Solid Phase MicroExtraction (SPME) enhanced the extraction of ILR by two orders of magnitude over conventional activated charcoal strip (ACS) extraction. Gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS) improved sensitivity of ILR by one order of magnitude and explosives by two orders of magnitude compared to gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Improvements in sensitivity were attributed to enhanced selectivity. An interface joining SPME to ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has been constructed and evaluated to improve field detection of hidden explosives. The SPME-IMS interface improved the detection of volatile and semi-volatile explosive compounds and successfully adapted the IMS from a particle sampler into a vapor sampler. ^

Subject Area

Chemistry, Analytical

Recommended Citation

Jeannette Perr, "Improved sampling and detection of ignitable liquid residues and explosives by mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry" (January 1, 2005). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3190960.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3190960

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