Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is used in the ATF Forensic Science Laboratories for the analysis of inorganic ions commonly encountered in post-blast residues including monomethylamine (MMA) and benzoate ions. Monomethylamine nitrate is found in Tovex®, a water gel explosive. Sodium benzoate is added to Pyrodex®, as a fuel and burn rate modifier. In the analysis of explosive residues, these ions are used as an indicator for the presence of Tovex® and Pyrodex®. Traditionally, these two ions, along with other ions of interest were analyzed by spot tests and ion chromatograph (IC). CE is currently being used in place of spot tests as a confirmation technique for IC.
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