Improved characterisation of malodours in recycled plastics using TD–GCxGC with BenchTOF2 MS

Thermal desorption (TD) with GCxGCTOF MS can be used for comprehensive characterisation of volatiles from recycled plastics, and the method is simple to translate to routine screening in QC labs.

With a global push to move to a circular economy (the increased use of recycled materials to reduce waste), manufacturers are being urged to produce or use more post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics. PCR plastics require more rigorous quality control measures to ensure that they will not produce volatile emissions that could be considered harmful or have a negative impact on the packaged product (e.g., malodours).

In 1D GC separations, trace odorants in plastics are often masked by high-loading aliphatics and may be overlooked. With 2D GC, aliphatics are retained longer in the second-dimension column, eluting in a band of intense peaks along the top of the colour plot. Odour-active compounds (such as oxygenated species) elute earlier in the second dimension, separating these compounds from the aliphatics.



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Improved characterisation of malodours in recycled plastics using TD–GC×GC with TOF MS