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14 june 2018 10:07:01

 
Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1933: Effects of Fire Suppression Agents and Weathering in the Analysis of Fire Debris by HS-MS eNose (Sensors)
 




In arson attacks the detection of ignitable liquid residues (ILRs) at fire scenes provides key evidence since ignitable liquids, such as gasoline, are commonly used to initiate the fire. In most forensic laboratories gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is employed for the analysis of ILRs. When a fire occurs, suppression agents are used to extinguish the fire and, before the scene is investigated, the samples at the scene are subjected to a variety of processes such as weathering, which can significantly modify the chemical composition and thus lead to erroneous conclusions. In order to avoid this possibility, the application of chemometric tools that help the analyst to extract useful information from data is very advantageous. The study described here concerned the application of a headspace-mass spectrometry electronic nose (HS-MS eNose) combined with chemometric tools to determine the presence/absence of gasoline in weathered fire debris samples. The effect of applying two suppression agents (Cafoam Aquafoam AF-6 and Pyro-chem PK-80 Powder) and delays in the sampling time (from 0 to 48 h) were studied. It was found that, although the suppression systems affect the mass spectra, the HS-MS eNose in combination with suitable pattern recognition chemometric tools, such as linear discriminant analysis, is able to identify the presence of gasoline in any of the studied situations (100% correct classification).


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44 viewsCategory: Chemistry, Physics
 
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