Development of Specialised Hyphenated Methodologies for Quantifying New Halogenated Plastic Materials

Australian Research Council

Halogenated plastics are plastics that have been modified or synthesised to improve their thermal stability and durability by incorporating any of the six non-metallic elements of the periodic table (halogens) into their structure. Compared to extensively studied high-production-volume plastics, halogenated plastics have been significantly less studied. They pose serious threats due to their emission of greenhouse gases, halogen-containing compounds and gases, dioxins, and hydrogen halides into the environment. This has led to significant environmental risks and concerns surrounding the use of these materials, in particular fluorinated and brominated plastics. Therefore, environmental measurements and studies are necessary to provide more insight on the environmental emissions of halogenated plastics and their environmental safety.

To test the environmental impacts of these halogenated plastics, this project will explore a method involving the coupling of thermal decomposition (pyrolysis) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. This method enables a more sensitive and specific approach, utilising negative ion chemical ionisation mass spectrometry to identify the environmental risks and concerns posed by these plastics.

Project members

Ruvini Weerasinghe

PhD Candidate (HyTech)

Dr Cassandra Rauert

Senior Research Fellow

Prof Kevin Thomas

QAEHS Director
and Theme Leader, Environmental Health Toxicology

Dr Jake O’Brien

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Elvis Dartey Okoffo

Research Fellow