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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158714 Find in a Library
Title: Detection of Petroleum Accelerant Residues on Partially Burnt Objects in Burning/Arson Offences
Journal: Science and Justice  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:(July - September 1995)  Pages:217-221
Author(s): V R Dhole; M P Kurhekar; K A Ambade
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article describes a process for detecting petroleum accelerant residues on partially burnt objects in burning/arson offenses.
Abstract: Residues of incendiary materials such as kerosene, gasoline, or diesel fuel were extracted directly into ether or from the steam distillates of some of the partially burnt objects encountered in cases of burning. The residual petroleum hydrocarbons (aromatics) were converted into their corresponding phenols/naphthols, which were further detected by thin-layer chromatography/high performance thin-layer chromatography by visualizing the plates under ultraviolet light before spraying and in daylight after spraying with diazotized p-nitroaniline reagent, followed by aqueous ethanolic sodium hydroxide solution. This procedure successfully converted the parent hydrocarbons into their corresponding phenols and naphthols as a means of identification. Although more time-consuming, this method is more sensitive and selective than earlier thin-layer chromatography methods that do not use derivatization; in the current method, amounts as small as 0.04 ml of kerosene and diesel and 0.2 ml of gasoline could be detected. Tar and bituminous stains present in charred samples could be differentiated by this method from other commonly used petroleum products; impurities such as vegetable oils and body fats did not interfere. 1 figure and 12 references
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Arson investigation training; Arson investigations
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