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Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM

Solvent-free sampling with di-n-butylamine for monitoring of isocyanates in air.


PMID 15798800

Abstract

The solvent-free sampler for airborne isocyanates consisted of a polypropylene tube with an inner wall coated with a glass fibre filter, coupled in series with a 13 mm glass fibre filter. The filters were impregnated with reagent solution containing equimolar amounts of di-n-butylamine (DBA) and acetic acid. Air sampling was performed with an air flow of 0.2 l min(-1). The formed isocyanate-DBA derivatives were determined using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. The sampler was investigated in regard to collection principle and extraction of the formed derivatives with good results. The possibility to store the sampler before sampling and to perform long-term sampling was demonstrated. Field extraction of the sampler was not necessary, as there was no difference between immediately extracted samples and stored ones (2 days). In comparative studies, the sampler was evaluated against a reference method, impinger-filter sampling with DBA as reagent. The ratios between the results obtained with the sampler and the reference in a test chamber at a relative humidity (RH) of 45% was in the range of 83-109% for isocyanates formed during thermal decomposition of PUR. At RH 95%, the range was 72-101% with the exception of isocyanic acid. In two field evaluations, the ratios for fast curing 2,4'- and 4,4'-methylene bisphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) was in the range 81-113% and for the 3-ring MDI the range was 54-70%. For the slower curing 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and HDI isocyanurate, the ratios were in the range 78-145%. In conclusion, the solvent-free sampler is a convenient alternative in most applications to the more cumbersome impinger-filter sampler.

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