Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Chemistry

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 67 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Jason Shepard

Committee Members

Paul J. Toscano


accelerants, arson, forensics, gasoline, Arson investigation, Fire investigation, Gasoline, Chemistry, Forensic, Principal components analysis

Subject Categories



Arson is one of the most difficult crimes to investigate, as much of the physical evidence is destroyed by the fire. Evidence of an accelerant at a scene is often vital in determining whether a fire was intentional or accidental. Gasoline is one of the most commonly used accelerants, due to its wide availability and low cost. Neat gasoline samples were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to identify the components present in each gasoline and differentiate between gasoline samples based on their seasonal blend and grade. Advanced distillations were executed to compare regular and premium grade gasolines and determine if the gasolines were distinguishable. Evaporation profiles of regular and premium gasolines were developed. Wood soaked in gasoline was burned for varying amounts of time, and a headspace gas extraction was used to collect the volatile components.

Included in

Chemistry Commons