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Separations 2018, 5(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations5030043

Detection and Characterization of Ignitable Liquid Residues in Forensic Fire Debris Samples by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography

1
van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 94157, 1090 GD Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Netherlands Forensic Institute, P.O. Box 24044, 2490 AA The Hague, The Netherlands
3
Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 94248, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4
RIKILT—Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 230, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands
5
Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center (CLHC), Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and Medicine, P.O. Box 94157, 1090 GD Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Fire Debris Analysis)
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Abstract

This study covers an extensive experimental design that was developed for creating simulated fire debris samples under controlled conditions for the detection and identification of ignitable liquids (IL) residues. This design included 19 different substrates, 45 substrate combinations with and without ignitable liquids, and 45 different ILs from three classes (i.e., white spirit, gasoline, and lamp oil). Chemical analysis was performed with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) for improved separation and compound identification. The enhanced peak capacity offered by GC×GC-TOFMS allowed the use of a target compound list in combination with a simple binary decision model to arrive at quite acceptable results with respect to IL detection (89% true positive and 7% false positive rate) and classification (100% correct white spirit, 79% correct gasoline, and 77% correct lamp oil assignment). Although these results were obtained in a limited set of laboratory controlled fire experiments including only three IL classes, this study confirms the conclusions of other studies that GC×GC-TOFMS can be a powerful tool in the challenging task of forensic fire debris analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography; GC×GC; GC×GC-TOFMS; fire debris analysis; ignitable liquids; arson; forensic fire investigation; medium petroleum distillate; simulated fire debris samples Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography; GC×GC; GC×GC-TOFMS; fire debris analysis; ignitable liquids; arson; forensic fire investigation; medium petroleum distillate; simulated fire debris samples
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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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Sampat, A.A.S.; van Daelen, B.; Lopatka, M.; Mol, H.; van der Weg, G.; Vivó-Truyols, G.; Sjerps, M.; Schoenmakers, P.J.; van Asten, A.C. Detection and Characterization of Ignitable Liquid Residues in Forensic Fire Debris Samples by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography. Separations 2018, 5, 43.

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