- How to Use Ion Mobility Gas Chromatography in Recycled Plastics
How to Use Ion Mobility Gas Chromatography in Recycled Plastics
Electronic Nose

As we have extensively described in other articles, whose links you will find in the final part of this article, the world of recycled plastics, especially those that come from separate collection, defined by post-consumption, they have the problem of managing the odorous component that is established inside the recycled raw material. Odors that come from the heterogeneous composition of the plastic in the collection phase, from the fermentation processes of the organic residues incorporated in the plastics to be recycled, from the washing water not managed in correct manner, from the degradation, during the extrusion phase of the granules, of plastics mixed with the main ones and of chemical substances absorbed by the containers during their packaging function, such as surfactants for example. The production of recycled granules done without the chemical control of the incoming material, the control of the water and the extruded materials for sale, is like driving in the night with the lights off. The commitment of company resources to purchase the raw material to be recycled, processing costs, logistics and sales costs, could be put at risk by '' impossibility of producing a raw material in recycled plastic that meets the expectations of the final customer in terms of odors. The analytical control of odors in the input materials allows us to select suppliers, divide them by categories and draw up production recipes that take into account the odor footprint of the products inbound. The same analytical control will be used to check the correct production process and formulation of recipes, not only from a technical aesthetic point of view, but also from an odoriferous one, to giving the final customer an extra quality that is increasingly sought after by the market. And, finally, the commercial can calmly propose a granule that has a license for the smell, not questionable or questionable through other noses, especially from those who are employees in the purchase of the granule produced, but through a certainty provided by a chemical analysis of the odorous components present in the product. How does this laboratory technology work? Dr. Rossini explains it to us: The technology underlying the instrumentation we are talking about is the GC IMS (Gas Chromatography with ionic mobility). This technology applies to volatile organic substances originating from a static headspace generated under standardized conditions. A chromatographic gas column allows the preliminary fractionation of the volatile substances introduced before entering the heart of the instrument. The heart of the instrument is made up of a 9.8 cm metal tube inside which an electric field of 5,000 Volts is created; the volatile substances from the chromatographic column are ionized by a source containing tritium (a low intensity radioactive substance). The ionization process takes place at ambient pressure and is based on the interaction between the water present in traces in the nitrogen gas which acts as a "carrier": The chemical-physical process of ionization is such that volatile organic substances such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, aromatic compounds, amines, thiols, halogenated compounds , etc, are electrically charged and therefore made detectable by the Faraday plate placed at the end of the flight tube. The aforementioned substances are those responsible for the "odors" that are perceived by the human sense of smell: the "extreme sensitivity" of the detection system that reaches the level parts per billion (ppb). The electronic nose is therefore made up of a GC IMS detector, coupled with an autosampler that has the task of heating the 20 ml glass bottles in which they are located the substances (liquid or solid) that develop the volatile substances. The way to perform the analyzes is extremely simple, since there is no preparation of the product to be analyzed. In the sector of recycled or recycled plastics it is really easy to prepare the samples and get the tests. The analytical result consists of a three-dimensional diagram like a geographical map of the mountains: the "geographical map" indicates the elution time from the chromatographic column, the flight time and signal strength of each individual volatile organic substance. This instrumentation therefore allows you to compare in an "objective" way the recycled plastics that emit volatile organic substances perceptible to the smell. Useful Links: CAN PLASTIC BOTTLES RELEASE SUBSTANCES TO THE WATER CONTAINED? POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED PLASTIC GRANULE WITH ODOR CERTIFICATION ANALYTICAL CONTROL OF ODORS IN THE RECYCLING SECTOR ODORS IN RECYCLED POLYMERS: HOW TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM? ODORS IN PLASTIC: CHECK THE PRODUCTION CHAIN TO AVOID CONTESTSAutomatic translation. We apologize for any inaccuracies. Original article in Italian.

SEE MORE - Electronic Nose for Analytical Evaluation of Odors in Recycled Plastics
Electronic Nose for Analytical Evaluation of Odors in Recycled Plastics
Electronic Nose

INSTRUMENTATION FOR ANALYTICAL VERIFICATION OF ODORS IN RECYCLED PRODUCTS (Electronic Nose) Recycled materials, which are raw materials from waste sorting , in their various states of life (loose, bales, ground, granules), or the final product , created through the recycling processes, can bring with them gradients and types of odors that can be more or less unpleasant to the operators or end customers. The sensation of acceptance or not of the smell is completely subjective and depends on an infinite series of sensory evaluations: what for me could be an acceptable smell, for the customer could be an unbearable home. The human nose is sensitive, but different between person and person in intercepting odors and, above all, it is unable to accurately catalog an equal level of odorous compounds, nor the repetition of the intensity of the odors it intercepts . What a company produces, in terms of smell on a product, whether it is a raw material or a finished element, must be cataloged in a completely analytical way , without approximation, to determine standards that can be accepted by both the producer and the customer, so that all subsequent productions can fall within the established ranges. Defining and being able to replicate a range of odors accepted by the parties is not only an increase in the quality service of the product itself and of the company, but also a guarantee towards the end customer who can reasonably know that odor intensity can be cataloged and managed exactly. Let's see some examples where an "electronic nose" can make the difference: • The producers of PET trays , receiving the recycled granule or ground, can analytically evaluate the odor intensity of the raw material and give the producer himself some standards not to be exceeded to avoid problems on the trays in the distribution chain. • Manufacturers of beverages in PET bottles can establish with certainty not only the maximum odor levels accepted on the raw material, but they can establish whether the product contained in the bottles can undergo transfers by the plastic bottle of odorous substances that can affect the quality of their product. • Producers of raw materials can establish with their customers the maximum odor ranges acceptable to both, through an analytical analysis of the material first sold in order to ensure a reliable product quality. • The manufacturers of bottles for detergents , for care and for perfumed liquids need to purchase recycled raw material in HDPE that has an odor content coming from the surfactants such that they do not interact negatively with the final packaging on the shelves of the shops or can alter the fragrance of the liquids or powders contained. • Manufacturers of furniture or packaging for industrial logistics who use PP, HDPE and LDPE from post consumption, they must be able to establish with certainty the incidence of the odors of the raw materials they buy, in order to establish limits that cannot negatively affect the final product they distribute. • We could continue to cite other examples in which the lack of a certain classification of odors can often lead to the dispute of the materials, with considerable costs and degeneration of customer-supplier relationships. Through the use of an odorous substance analyzer (electronic nose) , which is a laboratory machine that uses material samples first or pieces of final products, then in the form of granules, ground, liquid, etc ..., subsequently heated, creating volatile substances inside the test tube, to then be chemically analyzed and compared, through an analysis program, thus creating a precise picture of types and intensities. The electronic nose allows you to compare even samples defined as standard and therefore accepted by the parties, with the various samples of subsequent productions in order to intercept the deviations and immediately evaluate corrections productive. The results of the analyzes return a precise photograph , not only of the odor intensity, but also of the types of chemical compounds present in the samples that produce the odor mix, so as to be able to intervene in a precise and timely manner. The electronic nose that analyzes, in an analytical way the odors or perfumes of the volatile substances contained in the products, is also used in the food sector to unmask food sophistications such as, for example , those of olive oil, to check the compositions of coffee, to evaluate the freshness of foods or the transfer of substances contained in the packaging to foods. If you want more information on the equipment for the analytical evaluation of odors or a quote write us without obligation.

SEE MORE - Specifications of the Instrument for the Analysis of Volatile Substances in Recycled Materials: Electronic Nose
Specifications of the Instrument for the Analysis of Volatile Substances in Recycled Materials: Electronic Nose
Electronic Nose

Laboratory instrument for the analytical evaluation of volatile substances in post-consumer recycled materials and in products made with recycled polymers. Machine data : GAS FlavourSpec® GAS4400-000-000 package Ion mobility spectrometer with chromatographic pre-separation to measure traces of VOC in liquids and solids: • Ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) including: radioactive source 3H (tritium) 300 MBq - below the exemption limit acc. to the EURATOM directive - no license required) - open system with external gas drift (N2, synthetic air) • Gas chromatographic capillary column • Heated IMS, column, injector • Injector for sample introduction (splitless) • 2 EPC (Electronic Pressure Controller) units for drift and carrier gas control General specifications • Stand-alone operation - computer unit integrated into the system • 6.4 ”TFT display for data visualization • Pulse rotary encoder for data entry and instrument control • Motherboard with dual core processor (1.6 GHz) • Flash memory (16 GB) • 2 RS232 / USB / Ethernet i / o interfaces • 3 mm adapter (Swagelok) for the introduction of drift gas • 9 ”case - dimensions 449 x 435 x 177 mm • Power supply: 100-240 V AC external, 24V V DC / 8,3A internal XLR connector • Consumption <200 Watt • Weight: 15.5 kg Operational characteristics • Display of the measurement run • Access to all parameters relevant to the development of the method (temperature, flow rates) • Firmware controlled switch (+/-) of the high voltage polarity • Compilation of substance lists (based on drift and elution time) • Adjustable alarm thresholds • Manual and automatic operation incl. data acquisition / analysis • Purification system for cleaning • Data download via USB port GAS 4400-000-500 PC software package • Laboratory analytical viewer for • Data visualization • Organization of data • Tools for data analysis and export • Control of measurement properties • Plug-in: "Gallery-Plot", "Reporter", CSV-Export HT2000H Autosampler   • Autosampler for FlavourSpec 42 pos • FlavourSpec Kit (193.420) LS N2GAS Nitrogen generator   • Nitrogen generator for FlavorSpec • Air compressor PC (Lenovo) Software installed: English keyboard, full HD display resolution, SSD drive WINDOWS 10 installed Intel CPU RJ45 Ethernet port

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