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Interpretation of Ignitable Liquid Residues in Fire Debris Analysis: Effect of Competitive Adsoprtion, Development of an Expert System and Assessment of the False Positive/Incorrect Assignment Rate

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $540,752)

The goal of the proposed research will be three-fold: (1) To assess the effect of competitive adsorption of specific components of by various charred substrates routinely found in fire debris when employing the ASTM E1412 (Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration with Activated Charcoal which can lead to an incorrect interpretation of the results from E1618 (Standard Test Method for Ignitable Liquid Residues in Extracts from Fire Debris Samples by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry); (2) Development of an expert system to interpret chromatograms obtained from Gas Chromatography-Mass spectrometry analysis of ignitable liquid residues (3) Statistical evaluation of the false positive and false negative rates by fire debris analysts and the expert system following E1618 at low levels of ignitable liquids in fire debris samples. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 12, 2010