The Rtx-1614 separates MORE halogenated flame retardants than just Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)!

Halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) are used in numerous household and office products, including electronics, carpeting and furniture.  Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a subset of HFRs, have been found to be persistent and bioaccumulative in the environment.  While the main technical mixtures of PBDEs have mostly been phased out of production and use, the concentrations in the environment have not been declining and are currently still widely monitored.  Other halogenated flame retardants are now being used to replace the PBDEs that have been phased out.  There is still debate whether these replacements will be more environmentally friendly than their PBDE counterparts and monitoring the levels and occurrences of these HFRs are important to understand potential environmental and biological implications.  A recent PBS episode of “To The Contrary” highlighted some of these issues.

Achieving GC separations for such a large group of compounds can be difficult. In addition to shared quantification ions making chromatographic resolution necessary, the thermal stability of the compounds must also be carefully addressed.  Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 209) is a notably difficult analyte since it can thermally degrade in the GC inlet and on the GC column. A 15 m x 0.25 mm x 0.10 µm Rtx-1614 GC column with a fast elution profile limits thermal degradation of BDE 209 while maintaining resolution of BDE 49 and BDE 71.

Thermodynamic modeling software like Pro ezGC, can aid method development for closely eluting compounds.  This modeling program was used to determine the best separation of all target analytes, keeping in mind that increased residence time in the column would reduce response to thermally labile compounds. Check out the chromatograms below for the actual separations achieved from the modeled program.  What’s even better now is that all of these compounds are available here on the Web EZGC Chromatogram Modeler.  That means that if you only want to model a subset of these compounds, you can see what the best instrument conditions are for your specific separation!!

Halogenated Flame Retardants on Rtx-1614

Figure 1: Instrument conditions from Pro eZGC modeling maximizes resolution while keeping the analysis time to 25 min. Separation is increased between BB 153 and BDE 154, however EHTBP and DP syn are now coeluting.
Oven: 75°C (1 min) to 210°C at 18°C/min, to 310°C (4 min) at 8°C/min
Flow: 1.6 mL/min

    Figure 2: Alternative instrument conditions based on best efficiency flow and optimal heating rate. This results in a fast analysis time, but compromises resolution between BB 153 and BDE 154.     Oven: 75°C (1 min) to 330°C (2.8 min) at 25°C/min     Flow: 1.4 mL/min

Figure 2: Alternative instrument conditions based on best efficiency flow and optimal heating rate. This results in a fast analysis time, but compromises resolution between BB 153 and BDE 154.
Oven: 75°C (1 min) to 330°C (2.8 min) at 25°C/min
Flow: 1.4 mL/min

If you are planning on using a subset of this list for your own modeling in the Web EZGC Chromatogram Modeler you can copy and paste from the original Excel file for this table (Halogenated Flame Retardants Excel Table).HFR Table

 

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One Response to “The Rtx-1614 separates MORE halogenated flame retardants than just Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)!”

  1. […] often used.  I recently presented work at the Dioxin meeting where we took a shortcut and analyzed PBDEs and other halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) in fish using a quick QuEChERS type extraction, and a PSA pass through cleanup (Get the poster […]

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