RICBart Tienpont, Gas Phase Specialist
Taking pyrolysis a step further

While analytical pyrolysis was already introduced in the early 60’s as a convenient tool for the thermal breakdown and subsequent analysis of polymers the technique has not reached its final state. So far gas chromatography has been considered as the principle technique allowing hyphenation to pyrolysis. However, as pyrolysis is in most cases very complex the scope of reaction products lays far beyond the analytical range of gas chromatography.

During the last decade some timid steps have been taken to couple pyrolysis to HPLC or related techniques. In most cases a commercially available pyrolysis unit was modified to allow connection to an injection valve. Alternatives were found in collecting the pyrolysate in a cryo-cooled loop or vial.

This group has introduced an in-vial pyrolysis (PyroVial). Pyrolysis is carried out in a 2 mL autosampler vial placed in a XYZ robot for automated pyrolysis. Analysis of the volatiles is performed by headspace analysis while the semi- and non-volatiles are extracted from the pyrolysate with an organic solvent. The features of the PyroVial are such that all chromatographic techniques can be applied. Moreover, pre- and post-pyrolysis treatment of the sample is possible.

This presentation discusses current state-of-the-art of the Pyrovial and it will be positioned towards ‘classical’ Pyr-GC(MS). Practical aspects will be discussed and illustrated with applications in which the interfaces are applied for pyrolysis but also as an micro-scale reactor for high temperature reactions in the field of petrochemical and biological conversions.


Exposanten Lab Automation Day