Volume 39, Issue 5 (September 1994)
Fluorescence Detection of Ethyl Centralite in Gunshot Residues
A fluorescence method has been developed to detect ethyl centralite in gunshot residues. Residues were recovered from shooters' hands with cotton wool swabs. The swabs were extracted by a syringe elution procedure and the extracts cleared by TLC. The cleaned samples were hydrolyzed in phosphoric acid at 178 °C for 20 min to yield N-ethylaniline. Any N-ethylaniline was dansylated directly on a TLC plate, which was then developed two-dimensionally. The fluorescent dansyl-N-ethylaniline spot was scraped off and extracted for fluorometric determination. The detection limits for ethyl centralite standards and spiked hand samples are 1 ng and 5 ng respectively. Three out of six test firings of a .38 revolver gave extracts that were found to contain ethyl centralite. One of these was swabbed 180 min after firing three rounds of ammunition.