Title

Direct detection of brominated flame retardants from plastic e-waste using liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry

RIS ID

89445

Publication Details

Paine, M. R. L., Rae, I. D. & Blanksby, S. J. (2014). Direct detection of brominated flame retardants from plastic e-waste using liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 28 (11), 1203-1208.

Abstract

RATIONALE The worldwide generation of plastic electronic waste (e-waste) is reaching epic proportions. The presence of toxic brominated flame retardants (BFRs) within these materials limits their ability to be recycled, resulting in large amounts of e-waste reaching landfills. METHODS Liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry (LESA-MS) employing a chip-based nanoelectrospray coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer represents a novel control technology for directing e-waste streams for recycling. LESA-MS allows direct sampling and analysis of solid material, capable of detecting BFRs including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBP-A), the two most common flame retardant additives currently in circulation. RESULTS Authentic PBDE congeners and TBBP-A were deposited on glass and characterised by LESA-MS analysis. PBDEs are notoriously difficult to detect via electrospray; however, they were detected with ease by utilising a combination of nanoelectrospray and solvent doped with ammonium acetate. In situ detection of TBBP-A within plastic e-waste was also possible by performing LESA-MS on the surface of granulated material provided by a commercial waste depot. E-waste sample analysis was completely automated, with each sample analysed in less than 1 min. CONCLUSIONS LESA-MS is fast, simple, and robust allowing unambiguous detection of a range of additives through tandem mass spectrometry. LESA-MS does not require dissolution of the solid matrix nor the sample to be present under vacuum and the use of separative techniques prior to analysis is not necessary.

Grant Number

ARC/LP0775032

Grant Number

ARC/LE0989078

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