Trace Chemical Analysis, Accelerant Extraction and Analysis
The detection of trace levels of accelerants during arson investigation, the presence of drugs of abuse, or simply the detection of a chemical signature of evidentiary nature is often limited by how well the chemical signal can be properly “amplified” to allow detection and identification by todays GCMS systems (Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer). This generally means providing a very large volume of sample to the GCMS to boost the signal, thereby improving detection limits. High resolution gas chromatography, however, requires a very small volume injection, as these columns are simply too narrow to allow more than 0.2–0.4cc of sample to be injected (typically 0.01 – 0.013” ID). Entech has developed large volume preconcentration systems for decreasing the vapor phase volume 1 million fold, reducing a 1 liter sample volume down to literally 1 microliter to allow very rapid injection into GCMS systems optimized for trace analysis. This makes the difference between detecting all chemicals present down to low part-per-trillion levels, or seeing nothing but background air.