Emission profiles from polymeric materials: characterised by thermal desorption-gas chromatography

Gemma Mitchell, Catherine Higgitt, Lorraine Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Since being recognised as a potential emissive source, plastics in heritage collections are being investigated to understand the chemical compounds they release and how they might affect the stability of other heritage objects. There is a requirement for non-invasive methods of analyses to identify unknown plastics and the emitted volatiles they generate. Therefore, Tenax-TA sampling tubes were used to collect the emitted volatiles from 41 samples of 9 polymer types of varying formulation, provenance and age. Thermal desorption-gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) has been successfully used to separate and identify the emissions of the 41 samples at 23 C, after heating to 70 C and after accelerated degradation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Early online date24 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2014


  • plastic
  • volatile organic compounds
  • thermal desorption
  • gas chromatography
  • accerlerated degradation


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