Association News

Test Method will analyze biodiesel samples from fires.

Press Release Summary:

Apr 01, 2016 - Proposed ASTM test method will help extract and identify biodiesel products in fire debris. Standard will help forensic labs analyze samples to determine presence of ignitable liquids and to help with potential cases of fuel tampering or contamination. Specifically, according to ASTM member Ronald Kelly, this new standard could provide an alternative way to characterize the fatty acid methyl ester compounds that are added to the petroleum distillate fraction of diesel fuels.

ASTM International - West Conshohocken, PA

Original Press Release

ASTM International Developing Test Method to Analyze Biodiesel Samples from Fires

Press release date: Mar 24, 2016

A proposed ASTM test method will help extract and identify biodiesel products in fire debris.  This standard will help forensic labs analyze samples to determine the presence of ignitable liquids and to help with potential cases of fuel tampering or contamination.

Specifically, according to ASTM member Ronald Kelly, “this new standard could provide an alternative way to characterize the fatty acid methyl ester compounds that are added to the petroleum distillate fraction of diesel fuels.” Kelly, a recently retired supervisory forensic chemist from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, notes that the test method could help determine the types of oils in biodiesel products and to compare the composition of two or more fuel samples.

The primary users of the test method will be forensic scientists in labs that conduct fire debris analysis or fuel tampering and contamination cases.

If and when the standard is published, the ASTM subcommittee (E30.01) will welcome public and private labs to participate in an interlaboratory study that will further refine the test method and produce additional data on this technique.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at www.astm.org/JOIN.

ASTM Committee E30 on Forensic Sciences Next Meeting: February 11-12, 2017, E30 February 2017 Meeting, New Orleans, La.
Media Inquiries: Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602; dbergels@astm.org
Technical Contact: Ronald Kelly, forensic consultant, Woodbridge, Va. tel +1.703.232.6785; ronaldlkelly@hotmail.com 
ASTM Staff Contact: Christine DeJong, tel +1.610.832.9736; cdejong@astm.org