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Characterization of a headspace sampling method with a five-component diesel fuel surrogate

NCJ Number
Forensic Chemistry Volume: 22 Dated: March 2021
Megan E. Harries; Samuel S. Wasserman; Jennifer L. Berry; Kavita M. Jeerage
Date Published
March 2021

This article presents the adoption of PLOT-cryoadsorption for fire debris analysis and investigation.


Future adoption of PLOT-cryoadsorption for fire debris analysis requires investigation of sampling parameters including collection volume, flow rate, and temperature. PLOT-cryoadsorption concentrates headspace vapors by sweeping them through porous layer open tubular (PLOT) capillaries chilled to 0 °C to promote adsorption onto an alumina layer. Compared to passive headspace concentration employing activated charcoal strips (ACSs) as adsorbents, PLOT-cryoadsorption has several potential advantages for extracting ignitable liquid (IL) residue from fire debris evidence. Capillary vapor traps can be monitored for breakthrough to avoid problematic displacement that occurs when an adsorbent becomes saturated. Capillaries can also be eluted with acetone to avoid highly toxic carbon disulfide. The authors conclude that the surrogate mixture allowed for effective, quantitative comparisons between sampling conditions that could be translated to real diesel fuel.

Date Published: March 1, 2021