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Airport Security Liquid Diagnostic

Rather than ban liquids, test them at security.
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
  [vote for,

I work at the airport, and having to go through security every day you start to notice things. As you probably know liquids in amounts over 3fl oz have been banned. This means that if somebody has a bottle of shampoo they have to throw it away, and if it's a water bottle they have to empty it into a bucket at security. They should spend some of those tax dollars on equipping airports with machines which would detect dangerous chemicals in liquids. Instead of handing over a beverage a passenger could just pour a capful of the drink into the top of this machine, and if no chemical was detected they could pass. I don't know a lot about chemical detection/mass spectrometry but a machine like that should be simple enough (?) to make. Warnings would go off for petroleum products, nitro glycerin, acids, & other known chemical agents. The 'spent' drink samples would empty into a resovior once tested.
DIYMatt, May 20 2009


       let's see...   

       - various chromatographers - (say) $12k per install   

       - annoying people with silly(ish) rules - free   

       - binary explosives getting mixed after being separately poured into the refuse bucket - priceless.
FlyingToaster, May 20 2009

       My 1 litre bottle of water was noticed at an airport last week - the security guy just asked me to drink some to prove it was really water, and then he let me take it onto the plane.
hippo, May 20 2009

       Why take the bottle of nitroglyzerine onto the plane? If you managed to bring one to the security checkpoint you are all set for mass murder. Proof: The checkpoint-scene in Matrix.
loonquawl, May 20 2009

       Matt, are you labouring under the delusion that the 'security' checks are there because someone actually believes they might prevent a terrorist attack of some kind?
Twizz, May 20 2009

       This is baked. There's some kind of optical spectrometer that a guy invented that can identify liquids even through the bottles. It was featured in a magazine like Popular Science many years ago (not sure if before or after 2009). It's never been used at airports, AFAIK, even though that's what it was invented for. OTOH, I have had my laptop tested with an ion mobility spectrometer at an airport. They swabbed the keyboard and put the swab in the machine, and a few seconds later it said I wasn't a terrorist.
notexactly, Jul 24 2017


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