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Anion detection method to help police fight crime


Molotov cocktail

Chemical ignition Molotov cocktails consist of a flammable liquid and sulfuric acid and potassium chlorate in a glass bottle. The mixture is set alight by the reactants’ reaction on smashing the bottle

Researchers in Spain have developed a fast, non-hazardous method of identifying the anions present in improvised incendiary devices (a type of petrol bomb). This information will be important to police officers, as knowing the components of the original device could potentially help lead to the suspects involved.

Carmen García-Ruiz of the University of Alcalá, Madrid, and her co-workers studied a particular type of device – so-called chemical ignition Molotov cocktails (CIMCs), which consist of a flammable liquid (typically petrol) along with sulfuric acid and potassium chlorate in a glass bottle. Rather than needing to be lit by the thrower, the exothermic reaction of these ingredients on contact sets the mixture alight.

Read the full article in Chemistry World.

Qualitative Determination of inorganic anions in incendiary device residues by capillary electrophoresis
Carlos Martín-Alberca, Jorge Sáiz, José Luis Ferrando and Carmen Garcia Ruiz
Anal. Methods, 2012, Accepted Manuscript

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