Headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method for the determination of total cyanide concentration in water and post-mortem blood samples

Destanoglu O., Ates I.

JOURNAL OF THE SERBIAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, vol.86, no.1, pp.77-90, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 86 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.2298/jsc200422063d
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Metadex, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.77-90
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


In this study, we aimed to develop a headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method for determining the total cyanide concentration in the forensic evidences. Total cyanide content of the samples was calculated based on the hydrogen cyanide gas concentration evaporated from the liquid sample in the headspace vial. Hexacyanoferrate(II) was used for the optimization of headspace oven temperature. We have found that iron-cyanide bonds were completely degraded after 0.2 mL of the sample was treated with 1 mL of 1 M sulfuric acid under the optimized headspace conditions where the temperature and the heating time were 120 degrees C and 12.5 min, respectively. Satisfactory recovery results for both aqueous and blood samples were obtained. The method was linear in the range 0.05-10 mu g mL(-1) of cyanide which was a suitable range for toxicological investigations. The proposed method was validated and applied to the post-mortem blood samples, drinking waters, and the other forensic evidences. The proposed method can easily be performed not only in the forensic laboratories, but in the related laboratories where the total cyanide analysis is a critical issue.