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Microplastics are a major concern due to their impact on the environment. There is growing research into microplastics, typically submillimeter in size, and which often end up in waterways and oceans. They remain in a suspended state and can be ingested by marine organisms; thereby entering and accumulating within the food chain. Hyphenated thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), referred to as TG-GC/MS, enables in-depth characterization of evolved gases through real-time analysis of the products resulting from the thermal decomposition of the suspended microplastic matter. This results in greater information on the identify of the degradation products as well as details on when the degradation products are formed.
This application note describes a powerful analytical technique to measure constituents of microplastics using a hyphenated TG-GC/MS system.