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Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry with Soft Ionization for Increased Confidence of Polymer Characterization


This application note highlights a comparison between classical pyrolysis-GC with EI-Tandem Quadrupole MS and pyrolysis-APGC coupled to a QToF MS. The analytical advantages of soft ionization and high resolution accurate mass acquisition were explored for the analysis of polymer standards and biobased plastic bags. Additionally, software tools to assist putative identification of compounds are highlighted. This instrument configuration demonstrates an effective tool for the characterization of complex post consumer, industrial or biobased polymeric materials.


  • Pyrolysis-APGC-QToF MS is an effective analytical tool for laboratories focusing on compositional analysis of complex polymer materials using gas phase separation
  • Soft ionization using APGC allows for molecular ion detection to assist with the confirmation of chemical elemental composition, structural elucidation, and ultimately, for compound identification
  • The soft ionization can be achieved in a more time efficient workflow than is possible with traditional vacuum GC-MS instruments
  • The MSE data acquisition mode allows for the collection of both the accurate mass of precursor and fragment ions, key for the structural elucidation of unknowns within a sample
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