Volume 21, Issue 3 (July 1976)
The Collection and Determination of Ethylene Glycol Dinitrate, Nitroglycerine, and Trinitrotoluene Explosive Vapors
The identification of an explosive during a bomb scene investigation is a difficult and tedious task. The debris obtained from a bomb scene is usually first examined by microscopic means , with the hope of detecting some unconsumed explosive. Particles of suspected explosives are analyzed by using color spot tests or by solvent extraction procedures, with subsequent concentration and verification by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) or infrared spectroscopy (IR). This technique is time consuming if large quantities of debris are to be examined. One approach by which analysis time may be reduced is to scan samples from a bomb scene with a commercially available explosive detector such as a special purpose automated gas chromatograph vapor trace analyzer (VTA) . Samples on which a positive response is obtained are retained for further analysis. A positive response on the VTA is an indication that an explosive vapor of commercial nitroglycerine dynamite has been detected. These selected samples should be further analyzed to confirm the presence of other related explosives . Methods for analyzing explosive vapors by methods other than the VTA have also appeared in the literature [3,4].