Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 26(11), 1127 (2010).

Novel Fire Investigation Technique Using Needle Extraction in Gas Chromatography
Ikuo UETA,* Yoshihiro SAITO,* Kenta TERAOKA,* Hisashi MATSUURA,** Koji FUJIMURA,** and Kiyokatsu JINNO*
*Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi 441-8580, Japan
**Shinwa Chemical Industries, Ltd., Kyoto 612-8307, Japan
A novel fire investigation technique using a needle extraction device was studied. Using a polymer particle-packed needle device, air samples containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) generated from fire accelerants, gasoline and kerosene were extracted effectively, and subsequent gas chromatographic (GC) analyses were successfully carried out. Carpet and wood samples were spiked with gasoline and kerosene, followed by monitoring of the time-variation profiles of emitted VOCs up to 48 h. The fire accelerants were also measured for combusted carpet and wood samples, and the applicability of the proposed method to fire investigations was confirmed. Even at 48 h after spiking, groups of characteristic compounds were clearly observed in the air environments near the combusted sample. This method was further applied to the determination of VOCs in simulated fires, strongly suggesting the applicability of the developed method to real fire investigations.