An evaluation of instrumental tools to screen for the presence of brominated flame retardants


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Guzzonato, Antonella (2018). An evaluation of instrumental tools to screen for the presence of brominated flame retardants. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In this study a number of analytical techniques for the screening, quantification and identification of brominated flame retardants in consumers’ products, electric and electronic waste and indoor dust is explored. The presented work can be conceptually divided in two parts:

- The first explores, evaluates and pushes the limits of solid sampling techniques (i.e. X-Ray Fluorescence and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) as a tool for the total elemental quantification of Bromine and its use as a metric for BFR content in consumers’ goods and waste. The XRF method proved to be accurate to 94% (relative to LA-ICP-MS results), making the technique (used with the developed calibration) reliable for the quantification of Br in polymers. REEs concentrations obtained with LA-ICP-MS were used to evaluate the origin of contaminants in FCAs and toys.

- The second part explores the suitability of solid sampling techniques (that do not require sample preparation) and simplified liquid sampling techniques (that require sample preparation in the form of solvent assisted extraction) for the compound specific, semi quantitative evaluation of BFRs in plastic material and indoor dust. DIP-HRMS and DART-HRAM showed sufficient linearity over the calibration range and mass determination accurate enough to unequivocally identify BDE209 in polymeric matrices. GC-ICP-MS analysis performed with ad-hoc developed hardware provided reliable data for the semi-quantitative evaluation of indoor dust PBDE profile.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences


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