Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 388, Issue 8, pp 1653–1662 | Cite as

Characterization of sulfonated azo dyes and aromatic amines by pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

  • Astrid RehorekEmail author
  • Alexander Plum
Original Paper


Sixteen sulfonated and unsulfonated azo dyes as well as eleven sulfonated and unsulfonated aromatic amines were analyzed and qualitatively characterized by means of pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry at different temperatures. Aniline and aminonaphthalene were found to be the dominant pyrolysis products of sulfonated aromatic amines and dyes. Azo dye and dye class specific key compounds such as benzidine, vinyl-p-base and 4-aminoazobenzene could be identified by pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of commercial acid, cationic, direct, reactive and solvent dyes. 500 °C was the optimal pyrolysis temperature for most of the pyrolyzed compounds. The method was applied to a dried sample of a textile wastewater concentrate from a dyeing process. Reactive azo dyes of the group of Remazol dyes and anthraquinone dyes could be identified as the major compounds of the sample. The finding of caprolactam (a printing additive) suggests that the wastewater contained effluent from a process of heat-activated printing with reactive dyes. p-Chloraniline, a banned aromatic amine, was identified. Chemical reduction of the wastewater sample prior to pyrolysis resulted in the release of volatile aromatic amines and aided the classification of several products of pyrolysis.


Pyrolysis GC–MS Thermal extraction Sulfonated azo dyes Aromatic amines 



We thank Dr. Konrad Bootz from DyStar GmbH, Leverkusen, Germany for kindly providing dyes and dye educts. We owe much gratitude to Ruth Meurer for supporting the performance of Py-GC MS analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Process Engineering, Energy and Mechanical Systems, Institute of Chemical Engineering and Plant DesignUniversity of Applied Sciences CologneCologneGermany

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