Locating bomb factories by detecting hydrogen peroxide

Talanta. 2016 Nov 1:160:15-20. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.06.033. Epub 2016 Jun 18.


The analytical capability to detect hydrogen peroxide vapour can play a key role in localizing a site where a H2O2 based Improvised Explosive (IE) is manufactured. In security activities it is very important to obtain information in a short time. For this reason, an analytical method to be used in security activity needs portable devices. The authors have developed the first analytical method based on a portable luminometer, specifically designed and validated to locate IE manufacturing sites using quantitative on-site vapour analysis for H2O2. The method was tested both indoor and outdoor. The results demonstrate that the detection of H2O2 vapours could allow police forces to locate the site, while terrorists are preparing an attack. The collected data are also very important in developing new sensors, able to give an early alarm if located at a proper distance from a site where an H2O2 based IE is prepared.

Keywords: Home Made Explosive (HME); Hydrogen peroxide; Improvised Explosive (IE); Improvised Explosive Devices (IED); Luminol; Precursor; Security.