TATP, explosives, acetone, forensic
Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP) is a primary high explosive that can be synthesized using commercially available starting materials and has grown in use among terrorists over the past several years. Additives present in the precursors were investigated to see if they carry through the TATP synthesis and can be detected in the final product potentially aiding in the identification of the source. Additives identified in the acetones were also identified in pre-blast and in some post-blast samples. However, these additives are present in trace quantities relative to the TATP, which coupled with the volatility and short lifetimes of some of the additives in TATP samples limit their detection in pre-blast and post-blast material. TATP prepared with different acids in the laboratory could generally be discriminated by observing the change in composition of the headspace of the samples upon heating and by IMS analysis of the crystals. The analysis of TATP synthesized on a larger scale was compared to the laboratory results of pre-blast material and post-blast debris. As in the laboratory samples, organic additives were also detected in the large-scale pre-blast samples and the identification of the additives in post-blast debris was consistent with the results obtained in the laboratory detonations.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Painter, Kimberly, "The Forensic Analysis Of Triacetone Triperoxide (tatp) Precursors And Synthetic By-products" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4047.