Characterization of chemical markers for the discrimination of East Asian handmade papers using pyrolysis, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry

Abstract : This study was conducted to explore a new methodology for handmade fiber characterizationand identification using pyrolysis, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. It employseasy sampling process with minor quantity of samples required. After pyrolysis of handmadepapers, a featured metabolites distribution patterns (presence plus intensity) eluting in the defined region of interest (ROI) was observed to be characteristic for handmade papers of different material origins. The method utilizes these metabolites distribution patterns as markers to discriminate different fiber origins. Firstly, the problems encountered in the investigation of handmade papers were introduced such as the origin of papermaking, the inconsistency in the fiber identification results sometimes gained by different scholars, the limits of microscopy in identifying fibers from similar species and the likely imprecision of the reference sample labeling. All these problems showed the necessity to explore a new method in order to (i) make precise fiber identification of handmade papers and (ii) to validate or confirm the identification results obtained by microscopy. Then, modern reference handmade papers were firstly studied. The result revealed that different plant fibers used for papermaking have different marker distributions in the ROI, forinstance, the Moraceae family with a featured distribution of terpene compounds and theThymelaeaceae family with a featured distribution of stigmasta compounds. The fibers fromthe ma group usually revealed few compounds in the ROI. This metabolites difference in theROI was attested from the plant tissues with their similar distribution in handmade papers and plant raw fibers. Thus, the chosen methodology offers promise as a method of chemotaxonomy for unknown handmade paper fiber identification. With the examples ofapplications provided during the experimental work, the coupling of pyrolysis, gaschromatography and mass spectrometry (through the use of Py-GC/MS and Py-GCxGC/MS)showed its ability to distinguish fibers from the same plant family (that may present similar microscopic features) and thus, can constitutes an effective method for fiber identification as well as to validate the identification results of the microscopic observation. In the present thesis, the features of GCxGC and the benefits for cultural heritage applications and its help for the ID data treatment were discussed. The tested Py-GCxGC/MS methodology has been for the first time proposed in the cultural heritage field and it harbors the potential to promote the research in this domain, enhancing our capacity to handle small quantities of complex samples while providing an exhaustive response on its composition.
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Ung Bin Han. Characterization of chemical markers for the discrimination of East Asian handmade papers using pyrolysis, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Analytical chemistry. Museum national d'histoire naturelle - MNHN PARIS, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018MNHN0005⟩. ⟨tel-01978948v1⟩

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