Laundering of “Illegal” Fuels –a Forensic Chemistry Perspective

Grzegorz Zadora

Institute of Forensic Research, Westerplatte 9, 31-033 Krakow, Poland.
Tel. +48(12)4228755,
Fax. +48(12)4223850,

Paper based on a presentation at the 12th International Symposium on Separation Sciences, Lipica, Slovenia,
September 27–29, 2006.

Samples of dark-red liquids with acidic sediments, and petroleum odour were examined. Analyses using automated thermal desorption followed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (ATD-GC/MS), scanning electron microscopy coupled with an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDX) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), allowed us to conclude that the samples were probably residues of an illegal activity involving the removal of Solvent Yellow 124 from heating gas oil. The aim of the present work is to illustrate the application of common analytical procedures used in forensic laboratories for analysis of complex samples, and aided by expert knowledge in problem solving.

Keywords: illegal fuels, forensic sciences, ATD-GC/MS, SEM-EDX, XRF, Solvent Yellow 124