Navigation Links
Are those liquids explosive?
Date:8/18/2011

A team of researchers from the University of the Basque Country (Spain) has developed a method to determine the chemical composition of liquids seized by police and suspected to be explosive. Some of the samples analysed contained substances hazardous to health, such as methanol and boric acid.

Each year police forces seize tonnes of pyrotechnic substances which, in principle, are for indoor firework manufacturing (i.e. flares or those used in artistic or sporting events), but which also may end up in the hands of violent groups and hooligans.

A group of chemists from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU, Spain) has developed a method that offers judges conclusive scientific tests on the nature of these liquids. Until now, many resources have been allocated to detecting high explosives such as TNT, but very few for less powerful ones which can also be dangerous.

"We have found a relatively simple way to detect explosive or flammable compounds in suspicious liquids, by combining four techniques commonly used in laboratories," stated Kepa Castro, UPV/EHU researcher and the study's lead author.

On one hand, the molecular composition of the substances is obtained using two spectroscopy techniques (Raman and infrared) that can be performed with mobile devices in airports, customs or ports offices.

On the other hand, energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) combined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images is used to determine which elements are in the sample.

"With the SEM-EDS technique we are able to observe how the sample's elements are distributed and grouped (for example, calcium with sulphur suggests that calcium sulphate is present)" explains Castro, "and by crossing data from four different techniques, we are able to check and confirm the results."

Samples with dangerous compounds

To check the method, the scientists applied it to five seized liquid samples. Four of the samples presented substances used in indoor fireworks. Alcohols, such as isopropyl and methanol, are used to solubilise compounds and the scientists managed to produce coloured flames with them.

The team was surprised to find methanol being used as a main solvent, given that this compound is very toxic for human beings, causing acidosis and blindness, and it is restricted in many countries.

Boric acid was also detected in one of the other sample liquids. This substance has recently been added to the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) as part of the European Union's REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances). These acids can have a negative effect on the human reproduction system.

Strangely, no flammable or explosive substances were found in the fifth sample. "It is probably a flame retardant, which is precisely used in fire prevention," suggested the researcher.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@agenciasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. In the Midst of International Economic Crisis, VidaCura Offers a Helping Hand to Those Without Insurance
2. Independent Study Reveals SYNVISC(R) Offers Longer Knee Pain Relief and Greater Patient Satisfaction for Those Suffering from Osteoarthritis of the Knee
3. 4th BTLtec Conference on 24-25 Sep in Graz, Austria features Biomass to Liquids Innovators Sharing Updates on Pyrolysis and Gasification Technologies, Syngas Application, BTL Value Chain and a Site Visit to the Biomass CHP Gussing Plant.
4. 0.2 second test for explosive liquids
5. Mescal worm test shows DNA leaks into preservative liquids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Are those liquids explosive?
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology company ... variety of dermatological diseases, today announced it has ... entered into a $5 million credit facility with ... the capital for general corporate purposes to further ... treatment of serious diseases treated by dermatologists.   ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Rhythm, a ... genetic deficiencies that result in life-threatening metabolic ... $41 million mezzanine round of financing with ... MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Pfizer Venture ... public healthcare investment fund. Rhythm will use ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... ... February 15, 2017 , ... Park Systems , ... a powerful AFM operating software that drastically boosts productivity with single click reliable nanoscale ... of the functions of setting up and taking the image once done manually by ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... WARRINGTON, Pa. , Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biotechnology company focused on developing aerosolized ... that it has completed a $10.5 million private ... expects that it has sufficient capital to fund ... 2b clinical trial data release in mid-2017. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its ... Schlesinger as the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. ... 31, 2017. He is currently the Chair of the Department ... for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio State University. ... President and CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2017   TapImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... in the development of innovative peptide and gene-based ... and metastatic disease, announced today it has successfully ... a second clinical lot of TPIV 200, the ... The manufactured vaccine product will be used to ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 1, 2017  Central to its deep commitment ... worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation today announced the ... pushed the envelope in their respective fields of ... scientists are being recognized with the 2017 Japan ... only contribute to the advancement of science and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):