Volume 47, Issue 3 (May 2002)
Forensic Analysis of Ignitable Liquids in Fire Debris by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography
The application of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) for the forensic analysis of ignitable liquids in fire debris is reported. GC × GC is a high resolution, multidimensional gas chromatographic method in which each component of a complex mixture is subjected to two independent chromatographic separations. The high resolving power of GC × GC can separate hundreds of chemical components from a complex fire debris extract. The GC × GC chromatogram is a multicolor plot of two-dimensional retention time and detector signal intensity that is well suited for rapid identification and fingerprinting of ignitable liquids. GC × GC chromatograms were used to identify and classify ignitable liquids, detect minor differences between similar ignitable liquids, track the chemical changes associated with weathering, characterize the chemical composition of fire debris pyrolysates, and detect weathered ignitable liquids against a background of fire debris pyrolysates.