Gas Chromatography with Mass spectrometer coupling


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When samples are subjected to heating, they often undergo various transformations, including phase transitions, weight changes due to solvent evaporation, and chemical reactions. These alterations can be effectively monitored through thermal analysis techniques. Calorimetric methods such as Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) provide insights into the heat associated with these processes, while Thermogravimetry (TG) reveals changes in weight.

Weight changes can manifest as either an increase in weight due to oxidation reactions or a decrease in weight resulting from the liberation of volatile compounds during decomposition. To gain a deeper understanding of these processes, it’s crucial to analyze the evolved gases. Thermal analysis alone does not provide information about the nature of these gases, making the coupling of spectrometers or chromatographs an invaluable tool for Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA). EGA allows for the characterization of sample composition and the identification of reaction pathways during decomposition, enhancing our understanding of these dynamic processes.

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Application example: Thermal decomposition of latex

At a temperature of 370°C, synthetic rubber undergoes decomposition, producing distinct monomer components. The primary constituents, limonene and isoprene, can be effectively identified by employing Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA) in conjunction with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS).

In the STA signal, a noticeable mass loss and enthalpy change are observed at around 372°C, indicating the onset of decomposition. Simultaneously, the GC analysis reveals two distinct peaks. One is of smaller magnitude and can be confidently identified, through mass spectrometry, as isoprene. The second peak, of greater intensity, is identified as limonene, further enhancing our understanding of the decomposition process in synthetic rubber.


Couplings / Gas Analysis (PDF)

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