Significance and Use
Steam distillation is a classical separation technique, useful for preparing extracts for analysis by gas chromatography GC/MS or GC/IR. Distillates are suitable for analysis according to Test Method E 1387
The visible oily liquid extract can be used as a courtroom exhibit, unlike extracts produced by other separation procedures which are solutions rather than a neat liquid.
This practice is not useful for the separation of water soluble ignitable liquids such as alcohols or ketones.
Alternate separation and concentration methods are suggested if the concentration of flammable or combustible liquid residues is not detectable by odor.
This is a destructive technique that should only be used when a representative portion of the sample can be reserved for reanalysis. Those portions of the sample subjected to this procedure may not be suitable for resampling. Consider using passive headspace concentration as described in Practice E 1412
1.1 This practice covers the procedure for separating visible quantities of water insoluble hydrocarbons from samples of fire debris.
1.2 This practice is recommended only for samples which have a detectable odor of petroleum distillates when examined at room temperature.
1.3 This practice can yield useful extracts by the application of a solvent to the distillation trap in the event that only small quantities of hydrocarbons are obtained.
1.4 Alternate separation and concentration procedures are listed in the referenced documents.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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