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Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Mar 26;769:22-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.01.037. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Accurate measurement of bromine contents in plastic samples by instrumental neutron activation analysis.

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  • 1Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, 267 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-340, Republic of Korea.


Accurate measurements of bromine contents in plastic samples were made by the direct comparator instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Individual factors affecting the measurements were comprehensively evaluated and compensated, including the volatility loss of bromine from standard comparators, the background bromine level in the filter papers used for preparation of the standard comparators, nuclear interference, γ-ray spectral interference and the variance among replicates of the samples. Uncertainty contributions from those factors were thoroughly evaluated and included in the uncertainty budgeting of the INAA measurement. (81)Br was chosen as the target isotope, and the INAA measurements for bromine were experimentally confirmed to exhibit good linearity within a bromine content range of 10-170 μg. The established method has been applied to the analysis of eight plastic samples: four commercially available certified reference materials (CRMs) of polyethylene and polystyrene and four acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) samples prepared as the candidate reference materials (KRISS CRM 113-01-012, -013, -014 and -015). The bromine contents of the samples were calculated at three different γ-ray energies and compared, showing good agreement. The results of the four CRMs also showed good consistency with their certified values within the stated uncertainties. Finally, the bromine contents of the ABS samples were determined with expanded uncertainties (at a 95% level of confidence) between 2.5% and 5% in a bromine content range of 25-900 mg kg(-1).

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