209. Compact NMR Spectroscopy for Low-Cost Identification and Quantification of PVC Plasticizers
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), one of the most important polymer materials nowadays, has a large variety of formulations through the addition of various plasticizers to meet the property requirements of the different fields of applications. Routine analytical methods able to identify plasticizers and quantify their amount inside a PVC product with a high analysis throughput would promote an improved understanding of their impact on the macroscopic properties and the possible health and environmental risks associated with plasticizer leaching. In this context, a new approach to identify and quantify plasticizers employed in PVC commodities using low-field NMR spectroscopy and an appropriate non-deuterated solvent is introduced. The proposed method allows a low-cost, fast, and simple identification of the different plasticizers, even in the presence of a strong solvent signal. Plasticizer concentrations below 2 mg mL−1 in solution corresponding to 3 wt% in a PVC product can be quantified in just 1 min. The reliability of the proposed method is tested by comparison with results obtained under the same experimental conditions but using deuterated solvents. Additionally, the type and content of plasticizer in plasticized PVC samples were determined following an extraction procedure. Furthermore, possible ways to further decrease the quantification limit are discussed.