Volume 48, Issue 1 (January 2003)
GC-MS of Ignitable Liquids Using Solvent-Desorbed SPME for Automated Analysis
Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) is well documented with respect to its convenience and applicability to sampling volatiles. Nonetheless, fire debris analysts have yet to widely adopt SPME as a viable extraction technique, although several fire debris studies have demonstrated the utility of SPME coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify ignitable liquids. This work considers the expansion of SPME sampling from the customary thermal desorption mode to solvent-based analyte desorption for the analysis of ignitable residues. SPME extraction fibers are desorbed in 30μL of nonaqueous solvent to yield a solution amenable to conventional GC-MS analysis with standard autosampler apparatus. This approach retains the advantages of convenience and sampling time associated with thermal desorption while simultaneously improving the flexibility and throughput of the method. Based on sampling results for three ignitable liquids (gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel) in direct comparisons with the widely used activated charcoal strip (ACS) method this methodology appears to be a viable alternative to the routinely used ACS method.