Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2022



Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Sciences (MSCB)



Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Dockery

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Van Dyke

Committee Member

Dr. Mark Mitchell


Flame retardant additives are utilized in various polyurethane applications to comply with industry and flammability standards. Federal regulations and restrictive standards continue to tighten controls on certain impurities found in flame retardant blends. These restrictions include the limitation of organophosphates. Extensive research has been conducted to examine the effects of organophosphates in humans. To date, researchers have predominantly focused on the final product, mainly furniture and bedding products, rather than the raw materials utilized in production. Industrial chemists continue to grapple with the development of an effective method for detecting and quantifying organophosphate compounds in various flame retardant mixtures as polyurethane manufacturers require strict specifications to limit the amount of certain organophosphates in flame retardant blends. These compounds include triethyl phosphate, triphenyl phosphate, and tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate. To identify the individual components of a flame retardant blend, methods of quantification and qualification were developed using analytical instrumentation, specifically gas chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The examination of flame retardants containing organophosphates was completed utilizing various methods of analyses including electron ionization techniques along with various modes of detection. For optimal sensitivity, precursor and product ion transitions were chosen for individual organophosphates and aided in precise parameters for selective reaction monitoring scans. External calibration curves and figures of merit were examined for validation of the method. Through this research, the development of an economical and efficient sample and standard preparation was developed as well as an effective method for detection and accurate quantification of various organophosphates utilized in the production of flame retardants. The aim of this research is to add to conversations occurring across the industry regarding the accurate quantification of organophosphates while improving quality assurance methods and protocols.

Included in

Chemistry Commons