Volume 28, Issue 2 (April 1983)
Mass Chromatographic Analysis of Arson Accelerants
We have developed a method for analyzing arson accelerants by computerized capillary gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC MS) in which the data produced is subjected to mass chromatography for sums of up to four ions at a time. Ions were chosen to represent major hydrocarbon families normally present in common arson accelerants and included m/z 57+71+85+99 (aliphatics), 55+69+83+97 (alicyclics and olefinics), 91+105+119+133 (alkylbenzenes). 104+118+132+146 (alkylstyrenes alkyldihydroindenes). 128+142+156+170 (alkylnapthalenes). 178+192+206 (alkylanthracenes). and 93+136 (monoterpenes). Further mass chromatography for individual molecular ions often identified single components. Crude quantitative data were obtained from ion count measurements provided with the mass chromatograms by the data system. The range and pattern of aliphatic compounds, ratio of aliphatics to alicyclics (olefinics). relative concentrations of alkylbenzenes and alkylnaphthalenes, and presence or absence of unusual hydrocarbon families were found to distinguish between an assortment of standard accelerants and their evaporated residues.