Certain selected chemicals associated with terrorist activities are too unstable to be prepared in final form. These chemicals are often prepared as precursor components, to be combined at a time immediately preceding the detonation. One example is a liquid explosive, which usually requires an oxidizer, an energy source, and a chemical or physical mechanism to combine the other components. Detection of the oxidizer (e.g. H2O2) or the energy source (e.g., nitromethane) is often possible, but must be performed in a short time interval (e.g., 5–15 seconds) and in an environment with a very small concentration (e.g.,1–100 ppm), because the target chemical(s) is carried in a sealed container.