Compositional analysis of the organic additives in smokeless handgun powder can provide forensic information to associate known and questioned samples. A reliable method for the quantitative extraction of smokeless powder additives would strengthen these measurements. To achieve quantitative recovery, both supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and ultrasonic solvent extraction (USE) were evaluated as candidate techniques. Following a detailed evaluation of the solvent choice, the recovery of spiked additive compounds, and the effect of the powder matrix, a reliable USE technique was developed. When quantitative USE recovery of the target analytes, nitroglycerin (NG), diphenylamine (DPA), and ethyl centralite (EC), is coupled with additive measurement by micellar capillary electrophoresis (CE), compositional information can be obtained in less than 1 h.
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