NIST Researcher's Kit Recovers Trace Chemicals

If it can be successfully commercialized by industry, detectives, field inspectors, and others could carry with them a convenient version of NIST's "headspace analysis" technique that identifies solid or liquid compounds based on the makeup of vapors released into the air.

Tom Bruno, a chemist working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has come up with a portable kit that can be used to recover trace chemicals such as environmental pollutants and forensic evidence, "including secret graves and arson fire debris," NIST's Laura Ost reported Jan. 7. She added that if his kit can be successfully commercialized by industry, detectives, field inspectors, and others could carry with them a convenient version of NIST's "headspace analysis" technique that identifies solid or liquid compounds based on the makeup of vapors released into the air.

The technique involved is PLOT-cryoadsorption -- short for porous layer open tubular cryogenic adsorption, Ost explained. "PLOT-cryo is sensitive, quantitative and more broadly useful than many competing techniques. It can identify compounds that don't readily evaporate and is not limited to samples dissolved in water, for example. The method recovers vapors by suction or by sweeping a gas across the air above a sample of interest. The laboratory version of the technique has been used to find traces of explosives, spoiled food, residues in arson debris and gravesoil," she added.

Companies interested in commercialization are asked to contact the NIST Technology Partnerships Office at [email protected]

Download Center

  • Hand Safety Program

    Hand injuries are the #1 preventable industrial accident worldwide. In REThinking Hand Safety, the most comprehensive book on hand safety, you'll learn how top companies have reduced hand injuries by up to 90% and what the most successful hand safety programs have in common. Get your free copy today!

  • Free 1-on-1 Consultations

    Is your company ready to reduce hand injuries? Schedule a free meeting with a Superior Glove hand safety expert and learn how to reduce hand injuries, lower PPE costs, and increase worker productivity. Our 1-on-1 consultations offer personalized advice and recommendations for your specific needs and concerns.

  • Glove 101 Guide

    Choosing the right safety gloves for your workers can be a daunting task. That’s where some basic knowledge of gloves can really come in handy! In this comprehensive guide you’ll find key information you need to know about safety gloves from types of gloves and materials to additives, treatments, safety standards, and more.

  • Sample Program

    Find the right safety gloves for your team and try before you buy—in just 3 easy steps! Simply add the products you want to try to your sample box, complete the sample request form, and wait for your samples to arrive at no cost to you.

  • Water Protection Product Guide

    Find the right safety gloves for your workers that are designed to protect in wet environments. From light and flexible to heavy duty, find the best water-resistant gloves with mechanical protection to safeguard workers.

  • Superior Glove