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Handheld Raman for acid attack prevention

Photo of the MIRA DS spectrometer and a squeeze bottle

Acid throwing, a historical method for retribution against women, has become more prevalent in recent years. In 2017, the United Kingdom reported such incidents averaging twice per day. Concentrated acids and other corrosive substances have emerged as modern tools of social violence. Aggressors use common plastic containers with small openings that create a powerful directional spray, such as lemon or lime juice squeeze bottles.

Detection and regulation of acids may help to prevent such attacks. MIRA (Metrohm Instant Raman Analyzer) DS is an ideal solution for forensic investigation of suspicious containers. Large libraries, automated data collection and analysis, through-container interrogation, and a rugged, compact form factor all combine in MIRA DS to address this modern threat. This Application Note contains a discussion of how strong acids and corrosive bases appear in the Raman spectrum. Sulfuric and phosphoric acids were chosen for analysis through the plastic of a squeeze bottle, due to their highly corrosive nature and common usage.

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