Headspace analysis by extraction/GC-MS is a common method of detecting volatile hydrocarbon accelerants in fire debris samples. Solid-phase microextraction was tested to determine if there is selective extraction of chemically distinct compounds. It was found that both the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and Carboxen/PDMS solid phase microextraction fibers show preferential extraction of aliphatic or aromatic compounds from the headspace depending on fiber type and temperature. The Carboxen/PDMS fiber type showed particular (although not exclusive) selectivity for extraction of aromatic hydrocarbons. Other experimental considerations of SPME are noted.
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