A strong peak was encountered in the analysis of a case sample for explosives traces by gas chromatography with chemiluminescence detection. According to the standard laboratory criteria, the peak did not coincide with any common explosive, but it lay close to pentaerythyritol (PETN) and cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX). Subsequent investigation discovered that the peak was caused by dinitrosopentamethylenetetramine, a chemical blowing agent used in plastics manufacture. Details of the compound, its mass spectrum, and chromatographic responses are given.
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