Analysis of flame retardant additives in polymer fractions of waste of WEEE

An HPLC–UV/MS method has been developed to identify and quantify flame retardants in post-consumer plastics from waste of electric and electronic equipment (WEEE). Atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation spectra of 15 brominated and phosphate-based flame retardants were recorded and interpreted. The method was applied to detect flame retardant additives in polymer extracts obtained  from pressurised liquid extraction of solid polymers. In addition, a screening method was developed for soluble styrene polymers to isolate a flame retardant fraction through the application of gel permeation chromatography (GPC). This fraction was transferred to an online-coupled HPLC column and detected by UV spectroscopy, which allowed a reliable qualitative and quantitative analysis of brominated flame retardants in the polymer solutions.

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