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Article

Characterization of Biodegraded Ignitable Liquids by Headspace–Ion Mobility Spectrometry

Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), IVAGRO, University of Cadiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Spain
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Sensors 2020, 20(21), 6005; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216005
Received: 10 September 2020 / Revised: 18 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multisensor Systems for Chemical Analysis)
The detection of ignitable liquids (ILs) can be crucial when it comes to determining arson cases. Such identification of ILs is a challenging task that may be affected by a number of factors. Microbial degradation is considered one of three major processes that can alter the composition of IL residues. Since biodegradation is a time related phenomenon, it should be studied at different stages of development. This article presents a method based on ion mobility spectroscopy (IMS) which has been used as an electronic nose. In particular, ion mobility sum spectrum (IMSS) in combination with chemometric techniques (hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA)) has been applied for the characterization of different biodegraded ILs. This method intends to use IMSS to identify a range of ILs regardless of their degree of biodegradation. Three ILs (diesel, gasoline and kerosene) from three different commercial brands were evaluated after remaining in a soil substrate for several lengths of time (0, 2, 5, 13 and 38 days). The HCA results showed the samples’ trend to fall into categories characterized by ILs type and biodegradation time. The LDAs allowed a 99% successful classification of the samples according to the IL type. This is the first time that an HS-IMS technique has been used to detect ILs that have undergone biodegradation processes. The results show that IMS may be a promising alternative to the current standard method based on gas-chromatography for the analysis of biodegraded ILs. Furthermore, no pretreatment of the samples nor the use of a solvent is required. View Full-Text
Keywords: ignitable liquids; biodegradation; sensor; characterization; headspace; ion mobility spectrometry; chemometrics ignitable liquids; biodegradation; sensor; characterization; headspace; ion mobility spectrometry; chemometrics
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MDPI and ACS Style

P. Calle, J.L.; Ferreiro-González, M.; Aliaño-González, M.J.; F. Barbero, G.; Palma, M. Characterization of Biodegraded Ignitable Liquids by Headspace–Ion Mobility Spectrometry. Sensors 2020, 20, 6005. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216005

AMA Style

P. Calle JL, Ferreiro-González M, Aliaño-González MJ, F. Barbero G, Palma M. Characterization of Biodegraded Ignitable Liquids by Headspace–Ion Mobility Spectrometry. Sensors. 2020; 20(21):6005. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216005

Chicago/Turabian Style

P. Calle, José L., Marta Ferreiro-González, María J. Aliaño-González, Gerardo F. Barbero, and Miguel Palma. 2020. "Characterization of Biodegraded Ignitable Liquids by Headspace–Ion Mobility Spectrometry" Sensors 20, no. 21: 6005. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216005

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