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Detection of Petrol (Gasoline) in Fire Debris by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS/MS)

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 47 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2002 Pages: 736-756
Betty-Jayne de Vos H.N.D; Mark Froneman Ph.D.; Egmont Rohwer Ph.D.; Dale A. Sutherland B.Sc.
Date Published
July 2002
21 pages
This paper describes a method of analyzing arson accelerants using gas chromatography coupled with ion trap mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS).
The study investigated petrol as an accelerant. Analysis incorporated an ion preparation method that manipulated the ion population in the ion trap following ionization but prior to ion analysis. Parent ions of selected mass-to-charge values, characteristic for petrol, were stored within the ion trap. All other unwanted ions were physically removed from the trap by sophisticated electrostatic waveforms. The parent ions filled the trap and were then fragmented by means of collision-induced dissociation. The resultant daughter ion spectra were obtained, which could be used for identification purposes. In this manner, ions of pyrolysis origin are removed. The paper observes that, as the ion trap mass spectrometer becomes more widely used and software becomes more powerful, the use of MS/MS in arson analyses can become routine laboratory practice. Figures, tables, references


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