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Separations 2018, 5(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations5030041

Application of Headspace Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry for the Determination of Ignitable Liquids from Fire Debris

Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, ceiA3, IVAGRO, University of Cadiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain
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Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Fire Debris Analysis)
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Abstract

A fast and correct identification of ignitable liquid residues in fire debris investigation is of high importance in forensic research. Advanced fast analytical methods combined with chemometric tools are usually applied for these purposes. In the present study, the Headspace Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry (HS-GC-IMS) combined with chemometrics is proposed as a promising technique for the identification of ignitable liquid residues in fire debris samples. Fire debris samples were created in the laboratory, according to the Destructive Distillation Method for Burning that is provided by the Bureau of Forensic Fire and Explosives. Four different substrates (pine wood, cork, paper, and cotton sheet) and four ignitable liquids of dissimilar composition (gasoline, diesel, ethanol, and paraffin) were used to create the fire debris. The Total Ion Current (TIC) Chromatogram combined with different chemometric tools (hierarchical cluster analysis and linear discriminant analysis) allowed for a full discrimination between samples that were burned with and without ignitable liquids. Additionally, a good identification (95% correct discrimination) for the specific ignitable liquid residues in the samples was achieved. Based on these results, the chromatographic data from HS-GC-IMS have been demonstrated to be very useful for the identification and discrimination of ignitable liquids residues. The main advantages of this approach vs. traditional methodology are that no sample manipulation or solvent is required; it is also faster, cheaper, and easy to use for routine analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: headspace gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry; ignitable liquid residues; fire debris; multivariate analyses; total ion current chromatogram headspace gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry; ignitable liquid residues; fire debris; multivariate analyses; total ion current chromatogram
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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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Aliaño-González, M.J.; Ferreiro-González, M.; Barbero, G.F.; Palma, M.; Barroso, C.G. Application of Headspace Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry for the Determination of Ignitable Liquids from Fire Debris. Separations 2018, 5, 41.

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