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Prediction and Preliminary Standardization of Fire Debris Constituents with the Advanced Distillation Curve Method*
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2010
© 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue Supplement s1, pages S192–S202, January 2011
How to Cite
Bruno, T. J., Lovestead, T. M. and Huber, M. L. (2011), Prediction and Preliminary Standardization of Fire Debris Constituents with the Advanced Distillation Curve Method. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: S192–S202. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01628.x
- Issue published online: 3 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2010
- Received 18 May 2009; and in revised form 14 Dec. 2009; accepted 19 Dec. 2009.
- forensic science;
- advanced distillation curve;
- evaporation patterns;
- ignitable liquids;
- trace analysis;
Abstract: The recent National Academy of Sciences report on forensic sciences states that the study of fire patterns and debris in arson fires is in need of additional work and eventual standardization. We discuss a recently introduced method that can provide predicted evaporation patterns for ignitable liquids as a function of temperature. The method is a complex fluid analysis protocol, the advanced distillation curve approach, featuring a composition explicit data channel for each distillate fraction (for qualitative, quantitative, and trace analysis), low uncertainty temperature measurements that are thermodynamic state points that can be modeled with an equation of state, consistency with a century of historical data, and an assessment of the energy content of each distillate fraction. We discuss the application of the method to kerosenes and gasolines and outline how expansion of the scope of fluids to other ignitable liquids can benefit the criminalist in the analysis of fire debris for arson.