Analysis of polystyrene and polycarbonate used in manufacturing of water and food containers using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

Citation:
Farooq, W. A., A. S. Al-Johani, M. S. Alsalhi, W. Tawfik, and R. Qindeel, "Analysis of polystyrene and polycarbonate used in manufacturing of water and food containers using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy", Journal of Molecular Structure, vol. 1201: Elsevier B.V., 2020.

Abstract:

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is one of the analytical techniques which has vast applications in the material analysis. We have applied LIBS technique for the elemental analysis to determine trace elements as impurities in polystyrene and polycarbonate polymer materials. These polymer samples were collected from one of the Saudi industries which are being used as containers for food and water. The study was carried out under high vacuum (1 × 10−5 mbar) using a 10 Hz Q-switched pulsed Nd:YAG laser at wavelength 1064 nm, 20 mJ energy and 8 ns pulse width to generate the plasma of the polymer samples. By analyzing the plasma plume emission, LIBS spectra revealed the existence of Al, Si, P, Ca, Mg, N in Polystyrene and Br, Mg, Ca, N in polycarbonate as trace elements. Molecular lines of CN, CO, C2 and CH in these samples have been observed as well. The presence of Al, Si, and P traces in these polymer samples might be harmful to the human body. LIBS is found to be a simple, non-contact, online and cost-effective method to identify the hazardous elements in polymers. The industries can adopt this method to provide harmless containers for water or food products. © 2019

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