GC-MS Analysis of Phtalates: Comparison of GC Stationary Phase Performance

Phthalates are ubiquitous in the environment and have attracted attention due to their potential adverse impact on human health. For this reason, detection and separation of phthalates has become a necessity. Gas chromatography is an effective approach for separating phthalates, and it can be paired with several detection techniques, including electron capture (ECD), flame ionization (FID), and mass spectrometry (MS). In this study, Shimadzu GCMS-QP2010 Plus GCMS was used and Restek Pro EZGC gas chromatographic modeling software was employed to determine the optimal stationary phases and conditions for phthalate GC-MS analysis. The separation of phthalates was compared on seven different stationary phases: Rtx-440, Rxi-XLB, Rxi-5ms, Rtx-50, Rxi-35Sil MS, Rtx-CLPesticides, and Rtx-CLPesticides2 phases. In all cases, 18 EPA- and EU-listed phthalates were analyzed in less than 6 minutes. In addition, an extended list of 37 phthalates was analyzed in less than 40 minutes using an optimized method. Both Rtx-440, which is unique to Restek, and Rxi-XLB columns showed the best resolution of the complex phthalate mixture.