Standard Active Last Updated: May 11, 2022
ASTM E1386-15

Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Solvent Extraction

Significance and Use

4.1 This practice is useful for preparing extracts from fire debris for later analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS).

4.2 This is a very sensitive separation procedure, capable of isolating quantities smaller than 1 μL of ignitable liquid residue from a sample.

4.3 This practice is particularly useful when the potential for fractionation during separation must be reduced, as when attempting to distinguish between various grades of fuel oil.

4.4 This practice is particularly useful for the extraction of nonporous surfaces such as glass, or the interior of burned containers. It is also particularly well suited to the extraction of ignitable liquid residues from very small samples, very large samples, or samples that are not suitable for heating.

4.5 This practice is not specific to ignitable liquids and can be hampered by coincident extraction of interfering compounds present in the fire debris samples.

4.6 This practice may not be useful for the extraction of some extremely volatile ignitable liquids, which may evaporate during the concentration step.

4.7 This is a destructive technique. Whenever possible, this technique should only be used when a representative portion of the sample can be preserved for reanalysis. Those portions of the sample subjected to this procedure may not be suitable for resampling. If destruction of the sample is an issue, consider using passive headspace concentration as described in Practice E1412.


1.1 This practice covers the procedure for removing small quantities of ignitable liquid residue from samples of fire debris using solvent to extract the residue.

1.2 This practice is suitable for successfully extracting ignitable liquid residues over a wide range of concentrations.

1.3 Alternate separation and concentration procedures are listed in the referenced documents (Practices E1388, E1412, E1413, and E2154).

1.4 This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This standard cannot replace knowledge, skill, or ability acquired through appropriate education, training, and experience and should be used in conjunction with sound professional judgment.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.6 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. For a specific hazard statement, see 5.5.

Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Book of Standards Volume: 14.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E30.01
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/E1386-15
ICS Code: 71.040.40