In many fire investigation cases, it is hard to find evidence that will lead to the cause or person that started the fire, especially within arson scenes. Because of this, the identification of ignitable liquids is critical to an arson investigation. Obtaining enough evidential information from the scene is key if arson is suspected. Many scenes involve ignitable liquids that have been poured onto furniture or carpets, allowing the ignitable liquid to easily be collected. However, in some investigations ignitable liquids are poured onto semi-porous surfaces such as concrete. Collection of these materials is difficult. Oil dries are absorbents commonly used to clean up spills, at scenes, involving hazardous materials. Since many hazardous material spills involve petroleum products, it is suspected that the oil dries might also absorb ignitable liquids. Studies done in the past on creating a solid absorbent have not been successful, while some household absorbent have been somewhat beneficial.1 This research will concentrate on the potential use of different solid oil dry absorbents to be used at a fire scene to assist in the collection of questioned arson samples. All analysis of samples will be conducted using a technique commonly used in forensic laboratories, gas chromatography with flame ionization detection.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2016


Barbara P. Wheeler

Mentor Professional Affiliation


Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level