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Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry

Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry
Acronym PyGCMS
Classification Mass spectrometry
Analytes synthetic polymers
Other Techniques
Related gas chromatography

Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry is a method of chemical analysis in which the sample is heated to decomposition to produce smaller molecules that are separated by gas chromatography and detected using mass spectrometry.[1]


How it works

Pyrolysis is the thermal dissociation of materials in an inert atmosphere or a vacuum. The sample is put into direct contact with a platinum wire, or placed in a quartz boat inside a platinum coil, and rapidly heated to 600 – 800 C. Large molecules cleave at their weakest points and produce smaller, more volatile fragments. Various methylating reagents, which increase the volatility of polar fragments, can be added to a sample before pyrolysis. These fragments can then be separated on a gas chromatograph (GC).


Pyrolysis gas chromatography is very useful for the identification of synthetic polymeric media, such as acrylics or alkyds, and synthetic varnishes.[2] It can also be used for environmental samples.[3], including fossils.[4]


  1. ^ Halket JM, Zaikin VG (2006). "Derivatization in mass spectrometry --7. On-line derivatisation/degradation". European journal of mass spectrometry (Chichester, England) 12 (1): 1-13. doi:10.1255/ejms.785. PMID 16531644.
  2. ^ National Gallery of Art Conservation: Scientific Research. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  3. ^ Janos P (2003). "Separation methods in the chemistry of humic substances". Journal of chromatography. A 983 (1-2): 1-18. PMID 12568366.
  4. ^ Poinar HN (2002). "The genetic secrets some fossils hold". Acc. Chem. Res. 35 (8): 676-84. PMID 12186573.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pyrolysis_gas_chromatography_mass_spectrometry". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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