Chemistry Matters' Blog

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What is Forensic Chemistry Consulting, Anyway?

I am always fascinated with the use of the latest analytical chemistry techniques in solving unique environmental, geochemical, and arson cases and projects. My interest in these techniques coincides with this also being the ‘golden age’ of analytical chemistry. Analytical chemistry has recently developed so...

Do Samples Need Ice for Storage and Transport to the Laboratory?

During my seminars on arson and legal sampling over the years, one fundamental question is asked a lot regarding the collection of samples for ignitable liquid residue (ILR) analysis for a potential arson investigation. That question is, "Do my samples really need ice for storage and transport to the laboratory?"

How does the Golden Age of Analytical Chemistry Apply to ILR Analysis?

As part of my seminars, with the latest being in April 2017 at the 2017 International Association Arson Investigations (IAAI) in Las Vegas, I routinely discuss the future of analytical chemistry, and in this case how it applies to ignitable liquid residue(ILR) analysis.

I will tell the audience that we are...

What Sample Container is Best for Fire Debris Analysis?

I was attending and presenting at the 2017 International Association Arson Investigations (IAAI) Conference in Las Vegas in April. My four hour presentation covered many aspects of legal sampling and chain of custody as well as providing a fundamental description of laboratory analysis of ignitable liquid residues...

2DGC: Why You Need to Know about this Niche Analytical Technique

You may have heard about an analytical technique called 2DGC or Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography. Or perhaps you have not.

Can Statistical Sampling Give You Better Data & Save You Money?

Sampling can easily run up the costs of an investigation. As expert chemists, it's our responsibility to balance cost with collecting the proper number of samples for our clients.

2016 Round Up

2016 has been an exciting year. Chemistry Matters tackled many new challenges: from hosting the plenary at the INEF conference in Sweden to handling investigations here at home.

Dr. Lisa Kates joins Chemistry Matters

Dr. Lisa Kates has joined the Chemistry Matters team. Lisa is an environmental chemist with a strong background in organic, analytical and forensic chemistry. She has participated in studies and investigations related to clandestine drug operations, human health and ecological risk assessments, forensic...

Understand the "Why" before Collecting a Sample

Just Grab a Sample? Wait! Not so fast!

Unfortunately, I hear the words "just grab a sample" too often in my line of work.

6 Ideas to Make a Flawless Transfer of Chain of Custody to the Lab

Imagine This...

You have just finished a very large field program.  You must have collected nearly 100 samples, all different matrices (water, soil, sediment, product samples), and multiple analyses are needed.  You have COCs (chain of custody forms) filled out for everything, and you are driving over to the...

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