chapter  12
33 Pages

Analysis and Detection of Explosives and Explosives Residues

WithSean Doyle, Greg Czarnopys

The analysis and detection of explosives continues to be a global issue of prime importance. Since the last Symposium, terrorist atrocities have continued to blight humankind with attacks occurring on every continent; the majority of the many thousands of victims have been ordinary citizens going about their lawful business. Explosives and improvised explosive devices remain the weapon of choice for most terrorists. The military is involved in the detection of landmines, and environmental groups are interested in analyzing soil and water samples for the detection of explosives residues in order to identify and remove contamination from the environment. The interest in developing methods for the analysis of peroxide based explosives is high due to the threat of use in terrorist attacks. The chapter discusses the analysis of elemental sulfur in explosives and explosive residues by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gas chromatography is widely used in the field of explosives analysis, with many different detectors being employed.