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The Use of Pyrolysis/GCMS and Newly Developed Libraries to assist in Characterizing Complex Polymeric Samples
Poster Title: The Use of Pyrolysis/GCMS and Newly Developed Libraries to assist in Characterizing Complex Polymeric Samples
Submitted on 05 Aug 2016
Author(s): Gary Deger
Affiliations: CDS Analytical
This poster was presented at Symposium on the Seperation & Characterization of Natural & Synthetic Macromolecules
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Poster Information
Abstract: There are several analytical techniques that can be used to analyze for individual components in a polymeric sample including FTIR, solvent extraction-GCMS, TGA-MS, HPLC, among others. However, these techniques do not normally lend themselves
to analyze for the complete polymeric system, which includes volatile and semi-volatile compounds and the actual polymer. But using a pyrolyzer as a “thermal extracting introduction system” in combination with any industry standard GCMS provides a simple and direct means of analyzing not only the additives, but also the polymer itself. By careful selection of the sampling temperature, volatile and semi-volatile compounds may be liberated from the polymer matrix for analysis without the use of solvents or complex sample preparation. The remaining sample may then be pyrolyzed to identify the type and even structure of the polymer used in its fabrication. A typical series of analyses includes a low temperature assessment to identify volatile additives, contaminants and residuals, such as solvents and retained monomer. An intermediate temperature is used to investigate semi-volatiles like antioxidants, plasticizers and lubricants. Finally, at pyrolysis temperatures, the polymer itself may be identified and studied.

In addition, there are commercially available libraries developed to help identify different categories of additives and polymers using the search programs from the GCMS system. This poster will look at several examples of plastics and rubbers to identify the additives, residual monomers and the polymers using specially developed libraries and standard GCMS search software.

Summary: Pyrolysis-GC/MS is an effective tool in introducing and analyzing polymers. But since the polymer must be broken down to volatile segments in order to be sent to the GC, identification by the Mass Spec does not look at the original polymer, but only the fragments. This poster will look at a unique library designed to work with the existing NIST library, however contains averaged spectra of pyrolyzed polymers so it can be used to directly identify the original polymer sample.Report abuse »
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