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Pittcon 2012/Material Analysis Combining Gas–Chromatography with Thermobalance

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Analysing the production of simulated radioactive waste glass from batch chemistry through the melt state is just one example application for a new TGA-DSC system launched at Pittcon 2012 from Netzsch. But the coupling of thermo–gravimetric analysis with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry can provide even more information.

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Two for one: Netzsch's new analyser combines thermogravimetric methods and gas chromatography. (Picture: Netzsch)
Two for one: Netzsch's new analyser combines thermogravimetric methods and gas chromatography. (Picture: Netzsch)

Thermo–gravimetic analysis, although a versatile method, is sometimes not sufficient to determine the properties of of complex reactions such as the release of gases from additives made of polymer blends. A possible solution is the coupling of simultaneous thermobalance analyser (TGA or TGA-DSC) to a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) – this method also has the benefit to produce more additional findings to help in identifying the components released.

Material Analysis with Combined Strength

Now Netzsch issues in collaboration with JAS (Joint Analytical Systems) a simultaneous TGA-DSC (STA) that the company believes to be a breakthrough in reaction gas analysis. Reaction gases from the STA are fed directly into the GC valve box by means of a heated transfer line. Via a sample loop, the substances then arrive at the GC column, where they are separated and then analyzed by means of a mass selective detector.

What sets the new system apart is the fact that the start of the measurement is event-driven. This enables temperature-correlated detection of the substances released, which in turn allows for direct correlation with mass loss steps.

First Applications of New Analysis Method

According to the company, the system had already been installed at various laboratories, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, Chevron Energy Company in Richmond, California, the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering, in Norman, Oklahoma, and National Defence in Gatineau, Quebec.

PNNL is using the new system to analyse the production of simulated radioactive waste glass from batch chemistry through the melt state. The data will then be used to populate models to predict melt performance through changes in composition.

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