Volume 46, Issue 5 (September 2001)
The Use of Capillary Electrophoresis in the Detection of Monomethylamine and Benzoate Ions in the Forensic Examination of Explosives Residues
Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is used in the ATF Forensic Science Laboratories for the analysis of inorganic ions commonly encountered in post-blast residues including monomethylamine (MMA) and benzoate ions. Monomethylamine nitrate is found in Tovex®, a water gel explosive. Sodium benzoate is added to Pyrodex®, as a fuel and burn rate modifier. In the analysis of explosive residues, these ions are used as an indicator for the presence of Tovex® and Pyrodex®. Traditionally, these two ions, along with other ions of interest were analyzed by spot tests and ion chromatograph (IC). CE is currently being used in place of spot tests as a confirmation technique for IC.