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Microwave-Assisted Extraction and Derivatization of Nucleating Agents in Plastic Materials

The development of plastic materials with optimal properties, i.e. for food and pharmaceuticals packaging, requires appropriate analytical methods to control the levels of additives such as nucleating and clarifying agents (NCAs).These additives have to be properly extracted from the polymeric matrix and prepared by derivatization for the subsequent GC/MS analysis.

Introduction

The analysis of chemical compounds is a topic of main importance in the plastic industry for the detection of components added during the manufacturing process and for quality control. Polyolefins, like polypropylene, crystallize quite slowly forming spherulites, which are responsible for the opaque appearance of the final products. Sorbitol based NCAs are typical additives for the production of plastic materials having a clarifying effect. Those additives can be analysed by GC/MS after derivatization.

Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) has been already described as a potent method for the separation of organic compounds from the corresponding matrix.

Herein we describe the efficacy of MAE in combination with microwave-assisted derivatization (MAD) for sample preparation of NCAs prior to the corresponding GC/MS analysis.

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