Technical brief of Phthalate - English and Chinese versions available for download

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A fast easy and green thermal desorption GC/MS method for the analysis of phthalate esters in PVC

ASTM D7823-13 specifically addresses the quantitative analysis of six phthalates commonly regulated in polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It uses thermal desorption (TD) to isolate the phthalates from the PVC and inject the phthalate vapors into a GC column, where the phthalates are separated and detected using MS. Quantitation is based on the peak areas and retention times of phthalate specific ions. This one-step method can be automated by using an Auto-Shot solid sampler. This technical brief complements D7823 and shows how the ASTM method can used to determine a lengthy list of phthalates in polymer matrices beyond PVC. Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA) - MS of phthalates in polyethylene, polystyrene and polycarbonate illustrate the near universality of the TD method described in D7823. The factors influencing accuracy and the Practical Quantitation Limit (PQL) are discussed. Standard addition calibration not only provides the most precise data set, but eliminates the need for primary polymeric standards (which are not commercially available at this time). Lastly, the analysis of a power cord sheath shows how the method can be used to determine phthalates from ppm to percent levels.

1. Introduction
2. Overview of ASTM D7823
3. Sample preparation
4. Determination of the EGA thermal desorption zone
5. Advantages thermal desorption vs. conventional sample preparation and analysis
6. Analysis
7. Instrument and analytical conditions
8. Calibration
9. Extending ASTM D7823
10. Phthalates identified in a "power cord" sheath using ASTM D7823 (modified)
11. Comparing the TD-GC/MS method with the traditional liquid extraction-GC/MS method
12. Summary
13. References

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