Navigation Links
Are those liquids explosive?

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
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Related biology technology :

1. Bayer HealthCares Cotavance® Drug Eluting Balloon With Paccocath® Technology Reduced Five-Year Target Lesion Revascularization Rates by 59 Percent in PAD Patients Compared to Those Treated With Uncoated Balloon
2. Are those liquids explosive?
3. Independent Study Reveals SYNVISC(R) Offers Longer Knee Pain Relief and Greater Patient Satisfaction for Those Suffering from Osteoarthritis of the Knee
4. In the Midst of International Economic Crisis, VidaCura Offers a Helping Hand to Those Without Insurance
5. Mescal worm test shows DNA leaks into preservative liquids
6. 0.2 second test for explosive liquids
7. 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.
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Are those liquids explosive?
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: PDLI ) today announced ... chief executive officer, will present at the 27 th ... New York City . The presentation will be webcast ... 9:30 a.m. EST. and go to ... 15 minutes prior to the presentation to allow for any ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 According to two new studies, fewer ... is something that many doctors, scientists, and public health experts ... with fewer PSA tests being done, will there be more ... Dr. David Samadi, "Despite the efforts made in regards ... second leading cancer cause of death in men, killing approximately ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... 23, 2015 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem ... its preliminary unaudited financial results for the second quarter ... 30, 2015. --> --> ... Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 increased ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... GENEVA , November 23, 2015 ... to develop daclatasvir for 112 ... countries   --> --> ... licence for a hepatitis C medicine, signing an agreement with ... proven to help cure multiple genotypes of the HCV virus. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/18/2015)... 18, 2015 --> ... new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - Global ... - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture recognition market was ... to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a CAGR ... North America dominated the global gesture recognition ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. ... the development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling ... sciences industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds ... million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount ... or more additional closings are expected in the near ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):