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Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1933; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061933

Effects of Fire Suppression Agents and Weathering in the Analysis of Fire Debris by HS-MS eNose

1
Department of Fire Protection, Faculty of Wood Sciences and Technology, Technical University in Zvolen, ul.T. G. Masaryka 2117/24, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
2
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Cadiz, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), IVAGRO, P.O. Box 40, 11510 Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain
3
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Edificio Polivalente de Química, and University Institute of Research in Police Sciences (IUICP), 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
4
Fire Research Institute of the Ministry of Interior, Rožňavská 11, 831 04 Bratislava, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

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). View Full-Text
Keywords: chemometrics; headspace-mass spectrometry electronic nose; fire debris; fire suppression agents; gasoline; ignitable liquid residues; weathering chemometrics; headspace-mass spectrometry electronic nose; fire debris; fire suppression agents; gasoline; ignitable liquid residues; weathering
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Falatová, B.; Ferreiro-González, M.; Martín-Alberca, C.; Kačíková, D.; Galla, Š.; Palma, M.; G. Barroso, C. Effects of Fire Suppression Agents and Weathering in the Analysis of Fire Debris by HS-MS eNose. Sensors 2018, 18, 1933.

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