Oil identification for court evidence
Sula , Volume 5 - Issue 5 p. 29- 32
Mineral oil consists of a very complex mixture of many thousands of organic compounds. This complexity is a problem when oil has to be analyzed – even in environmental samples. By means of modern analytical methods, this problem can be solved to a high degree: many characteristical compounds of oil can be detected separately out of this complex mixture by combined, computer added, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry coupling (GC/MS). Thus, the disadvantageous complexity of oil is converted into a big advantage when samples from oil spills and ships have to be compared in order to convict suspected spillers: now, oil cannot be complex enough in order to make unequivocal identification. Some "real" examples out of a total of more than 550 oil comparisons in criminal proceedings, which were conducted in the BSH laboratory since 1984, will show the validity of the analytical results for court evidence.
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