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Qualitative screening of hazardous waste drum mixtures.
Puskar MA; Levine SP
Environ Sci Technol 1987 Jan; 21(1):90-96
Two methods for qualitatively screening hazardous waste drum mixtures were described. Both methods were based on Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The first method involved forward searching the unknown spectrum against a library of known spectra of pure compounds, polymers, and commercial mixtures. The second method, known as the Program for Automated Waste Mixture Interpretation (PAWMI), was an automated rule based artificial intelligence program designed to identify the major components in the spectrum of a complex mixture. PAWMI was developed to identify 62 of the most commonly identified organic compounds found at hazardous waste sites. The methods were applied to identifying the major components of 11 hazardous waste samples previously analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The forward searching method was most successful in analyzing samples that consisted of relatively pure compounds or commercial mixtures with available library spectra. Forward searching could also identify nonchromatographable components of mixtures that could not be determined by GC/MS. PAWMI was most successful in identifying components in mixtures with concentrations greater than 1 percent. The authors conclude that FTIR techniques can provide chemical information beyond compatibility testing and can identify components that could not be identified by GC/MS. They should not be regarded as trace analysis techniques, and are best employed in determining the major components of samples at hazardous waste sites in conjunction with compatibility testing or GC/MS analyses.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Analytical-methods; Hazardous-materials; Chemical-analysis; Spectrographic-analysis; Infrared-spectroscopy; Information-systems; Information-retrieval-systems; Environmental-pollution
Issue of Publication
Environmental Science and Technology
Environmental & Indust Health 1420 Washington Heights Ann Arbor, Mich 48109-2029
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division