Coherent X-ray scatter technology or energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction has been used for many years as a method to measure the atomic planar spacings in a crystalline substance. In this paper, this method has been shown to be of particular use when the requirement is to differentiate between low Z materials where transmission techniques provide very little contrast. We applied this technique to the detection and identification of explosives. Energy-dispersive detectors were used to collect coherent scatter spectra at a small angles (6.5 degrees). It is shown that the information from these 'signatures' can be used to determine whether an explosive sample is present or not. The geometrical configuration of the collimation and the position of the subject must be take into careful consideration when optimizing the capabilities of such a system.