Determining wildland fire markers in residential structures using thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry

M. Katie Martin, Dale J. Lecaptain, Alice Delia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Each year thousands of wildland fires blaze across the United States causing secondary ("smoke") damage to numerous businesses and personal property. Currently there are no specific industry standards or guidelines for determining wildfire combustion residues. Remediation decisions often rely on anecdotal evidence from occupants. A variety of particulate methods are used to assess surface contamination but there are few methods for evaluating organic chemical residues that encompass the wide range of chemical classes produced during wildland fires. A new method was developed employing a thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry (TD-GCMS). TD-GCMS using novel sorbent beds decreases the sample preparation substantially and enables sampling of bulk materials by off-gassing. Furthermore, the method developed is specific to wildland fire events. Results from a simulated wildland fire event are also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190026
JournalPhysical Sciences Reviews
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • fire markers
  • thermal desorption GC-MS
  • wildfires

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