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Anal Chim Acta. 2009 Nov 3;654(1):20-5. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2009.06.050. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Rapid methods of polymer and polymer additives identification: multi-sample solvent-free MALDI, pyrolysis at atmospheric pressure, and atmospheric solids analysis probe mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.


Polymer manufacturers add antioxidants, waxes, dyes, and other materials to enhance polymer utility or processing. Numerous analytical methods are available to characterize various chemical aspects of polymers including methods interfaced with mass spectrometry (MS) such as pyrolysis (Py), gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Current methods work well, but because of the necessity of extraction, chromatography, or thermal methods, most are too time consuming for high throughput analyses which might be necessary in, for example, regulatory laboratories. Here we discuss three MS methods for rapid analysis of polymers; multi-sample MALDI MS which allows rapid analysis of low molecular weight polymers, atmospheric pressure (AP) solids analysis probe MS for direct ambient additives analysis, and APPy MS for polymer identification. The latter methods provide information regardless of the composition or molecular weight of the polymeric material.


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