Characterisation of gunshot residue from three ammunition types using suppressed anion exchange chromatography

Elizabeth Gilchrist, Fleur Jongekrijg, Laura Harvey, Norman Smith, Leon Barron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Gunshot residue (GSR) is commonly analysed in forensic casework using either scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Relatively little work has been reported on the post-discharge GSR content of non-metallic inorganic or low molecular weight organic anions to distinguish between different ammunition types. The development of an analytical method using suppressed micro-bore anion exchange chromatography (IC) is presented for the analysis of GSR. A hydroxide gradient was optimised for the separation of 19 forensically relevant organic and inorganic anions in <23 min and sensitivities of the order of 0.12-3.52 ng of anion detected for all species were achieved. Along with an optimised extraction procedure, this method was applied to the analysis of post-ignition residues from three selected ammunition types. By profiling and comparing the anionic content in each ammunition residue, the possibility to distinguish between each type using their anionic profiles and absolute weight is presented. The potential for interference is also discussed with respect to sample types which are typically problematic in the analysis of GSR using SEM-EDX and GC-MS. To the best of our knowledge this represents the first study on the analysis of inorganic anions in GSR using suppressed ion chromatography. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2012


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