A study was conducted to develop an efficient method for extraction and analysis of gunpowder (propellant) residues from double-side adhesive coated stubs, which are used for sampling suspects or their clothing for gunshot (primer) residues (GSR). Conductive and non-conductive double-side adhesives were examined, and the analysis was carried out by gas chromatography/thermal energy analyzer (GC/TEA) and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The optimal procedure for the extraction, as was developed in the present study, employs two stages: (1) extraction of the stubs with a mixture of 80% v/v aqueous solution of 0.1% w/v of sodium azide and 20% v/v of ethanol employing sonication at 80?C for 15 min. and (2) residues from the obtained extract were further extracted with methylene chloride. The methylene chloride phase was concentrated by evaporation prior to analysis. Extraction efficiencies of 30–90% for nitroglycerine (NG) and for 2,4-dinitro toluene (2,4-DNT) were found. No significant interferences in the analysis were observed from the adhesives or skin. Interferences were observed in the analysis by the GC/TEA of the samples collected from hair. The method enables analysis of propellant residues on a double-side adhesive coated stub after it was examined for primer residues by scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X–ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX). Thus, the probative value of the evidence may be increased.
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