Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Radhika Dasari

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Barbara P. Wheeler

Department Affiliation


Third Advisor

Darrin L. Smith

Department Affiliation



Extraction of an ignitable liquid sample from a semi-porous surface such as concrete is especially difficult. For this purpose, two different solid oil dry absorbent materials, Instazorb and MAXXAbsorb, were researched for use of collection of ignitable liquid samples at a fire scene. These oil dries were spiked with different ignitable liquids (Coleman fuel, gasoline, kerosene, and diesel). Isolation of the ignitable liquid from the oil dry absorbent was accomplished by passive headspace isolation. Data was obtained by gas chromatography coupled with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Chromatograms obtained from both oil dries for the various ignitable liquids used, resembled the chromatograms for the respective neat standards. This demonstrates that these two-specific oil dry materials do not interfere with ignitable liquid isolation, extraction and identification by practices common to forensic analysis. In addition, the backside of tiles and concrete sections were both examined to mimic the semi-porous surfaces from which ignitable liquids are commonly obtained. Trials show that the Instazorb and MAXXAbsorb oil dry are not a good solid absorbent for this application.