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Analysis of emissions using pyrolysis FT-ICR mass spectrometry

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ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts





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A new technique was developed at the University of Northern Iowa, which combines a thermal desorption probe with the flexibility of the FT-ICR MS. The results of FT-ICR MS data provided mechanistic insight to the reaction mechanism of the formation of benzene and other aromatic pollutants. When coupled with MS, laser pyrolysis provided valuable information pertaining to the products produced. This technique permitted the observation of instantaneous high temperature products with little or no sample preparation. To address the problems associated with laser pyrolysis, a new thermal degradation probe could be attached to the FT-ICR MS to simulate the heating environment of a pyrolysis oven. Heating with a thermal probe resulted in continuous sublimation of the sample into the gas phase. The combination of a thermal desorption probe with the flexibility of the FT-ICR MS provided a novel and effective method of modeling and optimizing the pyrolysis process. Use of a thermal degradation probe in conjunction with the FT-ICR MS permitted a rapid method for screening both the products of pyrolysis as well as the secondary products formed by ensuing gas phase reactions. This new technique is useful when trying to identify a mixture of polymers such as found in a typical waste stream where individual pyrolysis MS of mixed waste samples would be too complicated to interpret.

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