Journal Published Online: 01 May 1996
Volume 41, Issue 3

The Use of Activated Charcoal Strips for Fire Debris Extractions by Passive Diffusion. Part 1: The Effects of Time, Temperature, Strip Size, and Sample Concentration



The introduction of commercially produced activated charcoal strips into fire, debris analysis has provided an easy, efficient and cost effective method for accelerant extraction. Several parameters associated with passive diffusion extraction of fire debris using activated charcoal require consideration in order to obtain a truly representative sample of the accelerant. This study investigated the effects of time, temperature, charcoal strip size and sample concentration on the adsorption of common accelerants. Notable displacement of specific volatile components, similar to the break-through noted in dynamic systems, occurred under certain extreme conditions. An analysis protocol was developed to minimize these effects.

Author Information

Newman, RT
Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory, Largo, FL
Dietz, WR
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, San Francisco Laboratory Center, Walnut Creek, CA
Lothridge, K
Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory, Largo, FL
Pages: 10
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JFS13922J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS13922J