Application of thermal extraction/desorption-pyrolyse-GC/MS to investigate sorption kinetics of trace organic chemicals on (sub)microplastic

, Reichel Julia, Drewes Jörg E., Graßmann Johanna, Knoop Oliver.

Micro- and nanoplastic particles are increasingly regarded as vectors for trace organic chemicals. The analysis of the sorbed trace organic chemicals (TOrCs) is most often depending on elaborate extraction steps. Within the thermodesorption-pyrolysis-gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (TD-Pyr-GC/MS) it is possible to identify sorbed trace organic chemicals on micro-, submicro- and nanoparticles as well as the type of polymer in one analytical setup. In the first step, the pollutants are desorbed from the particles by thermodesorption and analysed by GC/MS. Subsequently, the polymers are decomposed by pyrolysis and the decomposition products can be identified by GC/MS analysis. The aim of this study is to investigate sorption kinetics of the TOrCs phenanthrene, α-cypermethrin and triclosan on reference polymers in the micro-, sub-micro- and nanoscale, including: PMMA (48 μm), PE (48 μm) and PS (40 μm, 78 nm). For a comprehensive analysis of the samples, both aqueous phase and particles are analyzed, as indicated in Figure 1. The particles and TOrCs are incubated over a selected time period. The particles are separated from the aqueous phase by filtration and the TOrCs remaining in in the aqueous phase are quantified using a stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) and TD-GC/MS. Additionally, the trace organic chemicals on the particles and the polymer are analyzed with TD-Pyr-GC/MS. This comprehensive analysis allows a mass balance of the trace substances to be established. First results of the sorption kinetics and their dependence on polymer type and size can be shown.

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