Published Online: 1 September 2004
Page Count: 13
MME Forensic Services, Suwanee, GA
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Forensic Science Laboratory, Ammendale, MD
(Received 8 February 2004; accepted 8 May 2004)
Classification of ignitable liquids in accordance with voluntary consensus-based standards published by ASTM International has become increasingly specific, relying upon both the chemical composition and the boiling point range of submitted ignitable liquids. This classification system includes among others, specific classes for distillates and dearomatized distillates. In this study, a variety of medium-range ignitable liquids were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Several methods of data analysis were utilized to examine the relative aliphatic and aromatic contents in these liquids. Results show that commercially available products in the medium range exhibit a broad range of compositions with respect to the relative proportion of aliphatic and aromatic compounds and that some liquids may not be easily classified. This study demonstrates the importance of examining the proportion of aliphatics:aromatics for classifying such liquids and suggests guidelines for differentiating medium range distillates, dearomatized distillates, and blended products.
Paper ID: JFS2004052