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J Chromatogr A. 2010 Jan 15;1217(3):359-67. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2009.11.057. Epub 2009 Nov 20.

Emission pattern of semi-volatile organic compounds from recycled styrenic polymers using headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 56-58, SE-10044 Stockholm, Sweden.


The emission of low molecular weight compounds from recycled high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) has been investigated using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Four released target analytes (styrene, benzaldehyde, acetophenone, and 2-phenylpropanal) were selected for the optimisation of the HS-SPME sampling procedure, by analysing operating parameters such as type of SPME fibre (polarity and operating mechanism), particle size, extraction temperature and time. 26 different compounds were identified to be released at different temperatures from recycled HIPS, including residues of polymerisation, oxidated derivates of styrene, and additives. The type of SPME fibre employed in the sampling procedure affected the detection of emitted components. An adsorptive fibre such as carbowax/polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS fibre) offered good selectivity for both non-polar and polar volatile compounds at lower temperatures; higher temperatures result in interferences from less-volatile released compounds. An absorptive fibre as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) fibre is suitable for the detection of less-volatile non-polar molecules at higher temperatures. The nature and relative amount of the emitted compounds increased with higher exposure temperature and smaller polymeric particle size. HS-SPME proves to be a suitable technique for screening the emission of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) from polymeric materials; reliable quantification of the content of target analytes in recycled HIPS is however difficult due to the complex mass-transfer processes involved, matrix effects, and the difficulties in equilibrating the analytical system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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