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Field Demonstration of Portable Headspace Sampling in a Simulated Cargo Container



Megan E. Harries, Thomas J. Bruno


Screening technologies are necessary to counteract illegal trafficking of drugs and people through ports of entry in the United States and internationally. Here we present results from initial field testing of a recently-developed portable vapor sensing unit, portable PLOT-cryoadsorption. A surplus US Army bunker was used as a simulated cargo container, and four sets of experiments demonstrated the unit's functionality in a field environment. Three chemical mixtures acted as surrogates for materials relevant to screening operations: explosives-related compounds, clandestine grave-related compounds, and gasoline. Portable PLOT-cryoadsorption successfully detected components of each mixture in a variety of weather conditions and with short vapor collection times well-suited to a field environment.
Forensic Chemistry


cargo screening, vapor sampling device


Harries, M. and Bruno, T. (2019), Field Demonstration of Portable Headspace Sampling in a Simulated Cargo Container, Forensic Chemistry, [online], (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2019, Updated June 3, 2020