Improved Polymer Analysis by using Pyrolysisgc x GC-MS: Diverse Polyethylene (PE) Materials
Sep 05 2018 Read 950 Times
JSB Application specialist Daniela Peroni published a new application note about the Improved Polymer Analysis by using Pyrolysis-GCxGC-MS: Diverse Polyethylene (PE) Materials.
Pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (py-GC-MS) is a technique widely used for polymer analysis. Pyrolysis provides precise and carefully-controlled heating of the solid sample, leading to the formation of GC-amenable units (e.g. monomers, dimers, etc).
These are analysed by GC-MS to give chromatographic patterns, or 'pyrograms', specific to the polymeric composition and structure. However, pyrolysis profiles are often too complex and accurate profiling is difficult at best.
Typical workflows involve material identification based on the pyrogram average MS spectrum (with the aid of dedicated libraries) or focusing on a few diagnostic compounds. A great deal of information is thus overlooked. In comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) two different separation mechanisms are coupled in one analysis to give improved resolving power and unmatched peak capacity. Thanks to these features, GC×GC has found increasing acceptance and widespread use and nowadays can be considered the method of choice for the analysis of highly complex samples. As a result, GC×GC is the logical candidate to unravel highly complex pyrolysis profiles.
In this work we show the benefits of coupling pyrolysis to GCxGC-MS with thermal modulation for the analysis of diverse polyethylene (PE) materials, a polymer commonly encountered in daily life in different forms. The 2D pyrograms are shown to allow for more detailed characterisation and easier, more informative comparison.
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