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

  • The Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. This guide is here to help!

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Thinking of getting an online safety training solution at work but not sure how to evaluate different solutions and find the one that's best for your company? Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • SDS Software Buyer's Guide

    Whether this is your first time shopping for online SDS software or you’re upgrading from a legacy solution, this guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that works best for you and your company.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue