Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

Kenneth Furton

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Piero Gardinali

Third Advisor's Name

Yong Cai

Date of Defense



This study evaluates the use of commercially available instruments for locating and collecting accelerants in the field. Electronic noses can be used to scan a fire scene for the possible presence of an accelerant. The TLV Sniffer® was found to be able to detect accelerants at low levels but did alert to some burned matrix alone. When subjected to a proficiency test designed for canines, the TLV Sniffer® was able to locate accelerants in two of the three tests. The tpi®Pocket was found not to be sensitive or selective enough to be useful in locating accelerants. Once the location of possible accelerants has been determined, they can be collected by dynamic headspace sampling in the field with the Portable Arson Sampler (PAS). The PAS was found to be able to collect a broad range of compounds from ignitable liquids and had comparable efficiency to a conventional method.




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