In recent years, there has been extensive research into using pyrolysis to convert toxic\ud brominated plastics into safe, bromine free fuels. However, there has been little investigation of\ud the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) that are present in the pyrolysis oils. PBDEs are\ud brominated flame retardants that are extremely toxic and are difficult to analyse owing to the\ud existence of 209 different congeners. In this work, the authors have investigated the PBDEs\ud present in the pyrolysis oil of high impact polystyrene which contained decabromodiphenyl ether\ud as a flame retardant. The plastic was pyrolysed in a fluidised bed reactor and the resulting oil was\ud subjected to a rigorous clean-up procedure to remove interfering compounds before the PBDEs\ud were quantified using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. It was found that the most\ud prominent PBDEs in the oil were 3-monoBDE, 4-monoBDE, 3,49-diBDE, 3,39,4-triBDE and\ud 2,29,4,49,5,69-hexaBDE. The lesser brominated PBDEs were more prevalent than the more heavily\ud brominated PBDEs
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