Ignitable liquids, substrates, pyrolysis
The fire debris analyst is often faced with the complex problem of identifying ignitable liquid residues in the presence of products produced from pyrolysis and incomplete combustion of common building and furnishing materials. The purpose of this research is to investigate a modified destructive distillation methodology provided by the Florida Bureau of Forensic Fire and Explosive Analysis to produce interfering product chromatographic patterns similar to those observed in fire debris case work. The volatile products generated during heating of substrate materials are extracted from the fire debris by passive headspace adsorption and subsequently analyzed by GC-MS. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is utilized to optimize the modified destructive distillation method to produce the interfering products commonly seen in fire debris. The substrates examined in this research include flooring and construction materials along with a variety of materials commonly analyzed by fire debris analysts. These substrates are also burned in the presence of a variety of ignitable liquids. Comparisons of ignitable liquids, pyrolysis products, and products from pyrolysis in the presence of an ignitable liquid are performed by comparing the summed ion spectra from the GC-MS data. Pearson correlation was used to determine if substrates could be discriminated from one another. A pyrolysis products database and GC-MS database software based on comparison of summed ion spectra are shown to be useful tools for the evaluation of fire debris.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Castelbuono, Joseph, "The Identification Of Ignitable Liquids In The Presence Of Pyrolysis Products: Generation Of A Pyrolysis Product Database" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3626.