Improvised explosive devices are an increasing concern among law enforcement agencies within the United States because of their destructive capability. Capillary electrophoresis has been used previously for the forensic analysis of inorganic constituents in explosives. Micellar electrokinetic capillary electrophoresis (MECE), also known as micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC), is well suited for the forensic analysis of organic constituents of these materials because of its high sensitivity and small sample requirements.
In the present study, pipe bombs filled with known types of smokeless gun powder were detonated under controlled conditions. Samples of explosive residue were collected from the post-blast fragments and analyzed using MECE. The results were compared to the known types and analyzed to investigate the feasibility of matching post-blast residue to a specific powder used as explosive charge.
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