GC and GCMS are instrumental technique in which complex mixtures of chemicals may be separated, identified and quantified. The technique first vaporizes dissolved samples or derivatives (chemically modified samples), into gases and then separates according to their volatility (and polarity). In MS each gas is then bombarded with electrons so that ion fragments are formed. These ions are separated and filtered according to the fragment masses and counted. Interpretation of the resulting mass fragmentation patterns provides the identification of the gases and ultimately the chemical makeup of the sample.

Py-GCMS is used to provide rapid analysis of solvent-insoluble samples, but is particularly useful analysis of intractable and nonvolatile macromolecular complexes, i.e., polymers, soils, sediments, and hair.

Pyrolysis and Headspace Mass Spectrometry

  • Characterization of materials and their degradation products from paintings and other artifacts of cultural heritage.