Forensic Chemistry Essay

Forensic Chemistry

Home Made Explosive Investigation


Forensic examinations of bomb site have grown to be more and more wide-spread and many synthetic techniques are used. This survey aims to display how a garden soil sample from your scene of a suspected selfmade bomb manufacturer was analysed using slim layer chromatography. This technique, even though superseded by more modern methods, still has a crucial part to play in any forensic investigation and may often become the initial technique used simply by investigators showing that explosive materials are present. Introduction

This report should discuss explosives and the function they perform in forensic investigations. A scenario was presented in which a sample of fabric debris have been recovered from the scene associated with an explosion and need evaluated via aqueous and organic and natural extraction methods to identify the constituents. So what is usually an volatile? The legal definition beneath the United Kingdom's 1875 Explosives Act, Section 3 states: ‘The term " explosive” in this Act-

1 ) Means gunpowder, nitro-glycerine, dynamite, guncotton, blasting powders, blow up of mercury or of other metals, coloured fires, and every additional substance, whether similar to individuals above mentioned or not, used or produced with a view to generate a practical result by exploding market or a pyrotechnic effect; and 2 . Involves fog-signals, fireworks, fuses, rockets, percussion hats, detonators, carts and catomizers, ammunition of all descriptions, every adaptation or preparation of an explosive h above identified (White, 2009)

Putting that in simpler terms an mind blowing is defined as any kind of material or device which, by the speedy release of its potential energy, has the ability to of producing a great explosion. There are three main types of explosives: 5. Mechanical

2. Nuclear

* Chemical

Explosives are even more classified as low velocity and high speed. Low explosives are categorised as deflagrating explosives that will only detonate when enclosed. The detonation of a low explosive is usually used in in an attempt to detonate a high explosive that is not as sensitive (Bell, 2006).

The method intended for extraction from this practical was Thin Coating Chromatography (TLC). TLC is actually a quick and easy strategy that is used to separate chemical compounds based on the rate from which they move through a mobile phone phase. TLC is generally utilized to check the purity of the product of a reaction (Lewis and Evans, 2001) but could also be used to check the identity of the unknown sample. It is a qualitative test so it shows what is present yet cannot display how much is present. Aims

The aims with this practical were to attempt aqueous and organic extractions with the debris and identify virtually any components present by a selection of chromatographic tactics.

A sample of fabric debris reclaimed from the landscape of an huge increase was provided. The police realise that the incident may have been an accidental detonation in a home clinical.


The first section of the practical needed an organic removal of the material debris. Organic and natural extraction runs on the solvent that may extract any kind of residual organic and natural components, such as 2, 4, 6 – Trinitrotoluene (TNT); 1, 3, 5–Trinitro–1, a few, 5, -Triazacyclohexane (RDX); Pentaerythritol Tetra nitrate (PETN); Nitro-glycerine (NG) and other organic nitrogen compounds which may be present in volatile mixtures including propellants.

To be able to carry out this part of the useful a sintered glass crucible of porosity 3 was obtained and weighed to three decimal locations. Approximately 2 . 5g from the explosion scene residue was then put into the crucible and this was then considered once more. The organic removal could then be completed by placing the crucible onto vacuum pressure pump and adding 10cm3 of toluene. The vacuum pressure pump was then switched on to filtrate. The toluene was used again 3 times to ensure all the organic and natural extract was washed through completely. The extract was collected in a stoppered flask and the crucible with the strained soil sample...

Bibliography: 5. Bell, H., (2006) Forensic Chemsitry. Nj-new jersey: Pearson Area Inc

2. Langford, A., Dean, M., Reed, Ur., Holmes, G., Weyers, M. and Roberts, A. (2005) Practical Skills in Forensic Science. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

* Lewis, R and Evans, W. (2001) Chemistry. next edn. Basingstoke: Plagrave MacMillan

* White-colored, P. C. (2009) Criminal offense Scene to Court: The necessities of Forensic Science. 2nd edn. Cambridge: The Hoheitsvoll College of Chemistry

2. Ahmed, U. K., Rajendran, S., Hassan, S. A., (2008) ‘Forensic Analysis of Explosive Elements from Hand Swabs'. The Malaysian Record of Synthetic Sciences Volume 12, No . 1

* Hiley, L. W., (1993) ‘Investigations of Thin Coating Chromatography Techniques Used for Forensic Explosive Analysisin the Early 1970s'. Journal of Forensic Sciences. Vol 38, Issue 4.

* Scribd (2011) Home made Explosives Identification Guide. Available at: (Accessed: 13 04 2011)

* Lawrence Livermore National Lab (2011) Forensic Science Centre. Available at: (Accessed: 13 April 2011)

* eNotes (2011) Regarding Forensic Scientific research: Thin Coating Chromatography. Offered by: (Accessed: 14 The spring 2011)


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