Volume 49, Issue 5 (September 2004)
Comparison of Gasolines Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Target Ion Response
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to compare gasoline samples obtained from different sources based on the difference in amounts of certain components found in the headspace of gasoline using target response data. Many suspected arson cases involve comparing an ignitable liquid extracted from fire debris to a liquid found in a suspect's possession to determine if they could have had a common source. Various component ratios are proposed for determining if an unevaporated gasoline sample could have originated from the same source as an evaporated gasoline extracted from fire debris. Fifty and 75% evaporated gasoline samples were both found to contain similar ratios of certain components when compared with its unevaporated source gasoline. The results of the comparisons in this study demonstrate that for cases involving gasoline that has been evaporated up to 50% and extracted from pine, it is possible to eliminate comparison samples as originating from the same source. The results of the 75% comparisons suggest it may be possible to apply the same type of comparison to cases involving 75% evaporated gasoline.