Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography of polybrominated diphenyl ethers

P. Korytár*, A. Covaci, P. E.G. Leonards, J. De Boer, U. A.Th Brinkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with micro electron-capture detection (GC x GC-μECD) was evaluated for the separation of 125 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). From among the six column combinations that were evaluated, DB-1 x 007-65HT was found to be the most suitable because of: (i) the highest number of BDE congeners separated; (ii) the least decomposition of higher brominated congeners; and (iii) the most suitable maximum operating temperature. The separation of the 125 BDE congeners from five hydroxy- and two methoxy-BDEs and nine other brominated flame retardants (polybrominated biphenyls, tetrabromobisphenol-A, methyl-tetrabromobisphenol-A and hexabromocyclododecane) was also studied. Fluorinated BDEs were found to be valuable internal standards for the determination of BDEs because of their very similar physico-chemical properties and excellent separation from the parent BDEs, mainly in the second dimension. GC x GC-time-of-flight MS and GC x GC-μECD were shown to be useful tools to identify decomposition products of nona- and deca-substituted BDEs, which are formed during the GC run. Three nona-BDEs were shown to be the major decomposition products of BDE 209.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2005


  • Brominated flame retardants
  • Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography
  • Decomposition
  • Fluorinated brominated diphenyl ethers
  • GC x GC
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers


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