Like most websites The Analytical Scientist uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.

Quantitative Analysis of Residual Monomer in PMMA by Thermal Desorption-GC-MS


This application note demonstrates quantitative analysis of monomer contamination in a polymer by performing TD-GC-MS.


Acrylic polymers are prepared from acrylate monomers and are widely used in cosmetic and medical products. During the polymerization process, certain level of monomer is left unpolymerized. The exact amount of such residual monomer became an interest of quality control since the sensitive applications could be regulated by the FDA1. Although these QA analysis are frequently done by solvent extraction, thermal analysis offers some distinct advantages. First, it is a green method without solvent to concentrate or dispose. Secondly, since the analysis does not include a large solvent peak, the technique is a sensitive way to identify traces of compounds which might be masked by solvent injection. Finally, larger sample may be analyzed with better homogeneity, as opposed to an aliquot from a solvent extraction.2

While the Pyroprobe’s normal function is to use pyrolysis as a tool to identify polymer materials, it actually offers a full suite of thermal analysis tools including Thermal Desorption, Dynamic Headspace, Photochemistry, Evolved Gas Analysis , Tandem Reactor and even SPME based on the nature of the application. Following the Pyroprobe Application Decision Making Tree3, a piece of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) material was analyzed to quantify the residual monomer, which is methyl methacrylate. After an Evolved Gas Analysis screening was performed, a thermal desorber attachment was picked for thermal desorption-GC-MS to calculate the amount of residual monomer in the material.

Read the full article now

Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Analytical Scientist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE!


Subscribe to The Analytical Scientist Newsletters

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].

Register to The Analytical Scientist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine