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Proceedings Paper

Variables controlling the recovery of ignitable liquid residues from simulated fire debris samples using solid-phase microextraction/gas chromatography
Author(s): Kenneth G. Furton; Jose R. Almirall; Jing Wang
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, we present data comparing a variety of different conditions for extracting ignitable liquid residues from simulated fire debris samples in order to optimize the conditions for using Solid Phase Microextraction. A simulated accelerant mixture containing 30 components, including those from light petroleum distillates, medium petroleum distillates and heavy petroleum distillates were used to study the important variables controlling Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) recoveries. SPME is an inexpensive, rapid and sensitive method for the analysis of volatile residues from the headspace over solid debris samples in a container or directly from aqueous samples followed by GC. The relative effects of controllable variables, including fiber chemistry, adsorption and desorption temperature, extraction time, and desorption time, have been optimized. The addition of water and ethanol to simulated debris samples in a can was shown to increase the sensitivity when using headspace SPME extraction. The relative enhancement of sensitivity has been compared as a function of the hydrocarbon chain length, sample temperature, time, and added ethanol concentrations. The technique has also been optimized to the extraction of accelerants directly from water added to the fire debris samples. The optimum adsorption time for the low molecular weight components was found to be approximately 25 minutes. The high molecular weight components were found at a higher concentration the longer the fiber was exposed to the headspace (up to 1 hr). The higher molecular weight components were also found in higher concentrations in the headspace when water and/or ethanol was added to the debris.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3576, Investigation and Forensic Science Technologies, (4 February 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.334524
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth G. Furton, Florida International Univ. (United States)
Jose R. Almirall, Florida International Univ. (United States)
Jing Wang, Florida International Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3576:
Investigation and Forensic Science Technologies
Kathleen Higgins, Editor(s)

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