|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
I have used luminol quite a lot in crime scene processing and wrote a chapter on luminol in 'Principles of Bloodstain Analysis' ISBN#0-8493-2014-3.
Luminol works best on surfaces such as carpeting. A smooth surface such as paper money might present some difficulties (luminol running off surface). If you let the bill dry and then re-apply the luminol, you will probably get a reaction but the stain may appear misshapen.
Luminol is difficult to work with. You must apply it in a completely darkened room and use a camera mounted on a tripod for a timed exposure. Here is a site that discusses a product called Bluestar and how it's used: http://www.bluestar- forensic.com/gb/bluestar.php. If you are good with a camera, you may try a technique called bounce flash. During the timed luminol exposure in the dark, hit the button on a camera flash that's aimed at the ceiling. The resulting picture may show the bill with the luminescence visible.
Remember that luminol is a presumptive reagent and that other things besides blood may give you a reaction.
Good luck with your project Emily.
Dale L. Laux
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