Back to Resources

Case study: Characterisation of a substance with limited thermal stability

The production of foamed plastics relies on the use of substances referred to as blowing agents. During the manufacturing process, the blowing agents decompose readily at elevated temperature, releasing gases that facilitate the foaming process.

Yordas Group was commissioned to characterise a blowing agent for the purpose of REACH registration in order to provide the necessary identity and composition data for the dossier. The poor thermal stability of the substance and its very low solubility in organic solvents created a number of challenges for the analytical work, which it was necessary to address.

For the determination of composition, gas chromatography (GC) was the technique of choice; however, the thermal sensitivity of the substance meant that direct analysis was not an option. Literature investigation revealed that it is possible to derivatise these substances in such a way that allows them to be reliably analysed by GC. Evaluation of this methodology identified triphenylphosphine as the most appropriate derivatisation reagent and the analysis was able to proceed as required.

The successful application of stabilisation methodology allowed the detailed analytical data demanded by REACH to be obtained.