August 9, 2012
Advanced Explosives Detector To Sniff Out Previously Undetectable Amounts Of TNT
With the best explosive detectors often unable to sniff out the tiny amounts of TNT released from terrorist bombs in airports and other public places, scientists are reporting a potential solution. Their research in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry describes development of a device that concentrates TNT vapors in the air so that they become more detectable.
Yushan Yan and colleagues point out that TNT and other conventional explosives are the mainstays of terrorist bombs and the anti-personnel mines that kill or injure more than 15,000 people annually in war-torn countries. In large, open-air environments, such as airports, train stations and minefields, concentrations of these explosives can be vanishingly small — a few parts of TNT, for instance, per trillion parts of air. That can make it impossible for conventional bomb and mine detectors to detect the explosives and save lives.
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