A method for the determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in recycled polyethylene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene using headspace sampling by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry detection is presented. This method was used to evaluate the efficiency of cleaning processes for VOC removal from recycled PET. In addition, the method was also employed to evaluate the level of VOC contamination in multilayer packaging material containing recycled HDPE material. The optimisation of the extraction procedure for volatile compounds was performed and the best extraction conditions were found using a 75 μm carboxen-polydimethylsiloxane (CAR-PDMS) fibre for 20 min at 60 °C. The validation parameters for the established method were linear range, linearity, sensitivity, precision (repeatability), accuracy (recovery) and detection and quantification limits. The results indicated that the method could easily be used in quality control for the production of recycled PET and HDPE.
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