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Date

12-8-2020 12:20 PM

Abstract

Degradation chemistry has been widely studied to assess the safety of aerosols in many fields. The study herein investigates the degradation products formed from MONQ personal aromatherapy devices- a new non-nicotine vape pen device on the market. These pens are marketed to alleviate symptoms of an unrecognized medical syndrome called “terpene deficiency”. These pens contain a glycerin (GL), or glycerol (VG), base and a blend of terpene-rich essential oils. Previous studies have investigated the degradation of both GL and terpenes and shown that concerning compounds are released in the gas phase, including benzene, benzaldehyde, methacrolein and methyl vinyl ketone. 7,9 Studies also conclude the formation of formaldehyde releasing agents (FRAs) from propylene glycol (PG) and GL.5 However, a study has not been done that focuses on the thermolysis reaction of terpenes combined with GL. Here, the purpose of these experiments is to bridge this gap in understanding. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-NMR) and adsorption-thermal desorption gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (ATD-GCMS) are implemented to identify the compounds in both the gas and particulate phases of MONQ devices. Methacrolein, benzene, benzaldehyde, FRA’s, and other organic acids and compounds were successfully identified in selected blends of MONQ devices. Considering most of these compounds are respiratory irritants, and benzene is a carcinogen, MONQ devices pose questionable benefits to consumers.

Biographies

Alisha Ortiz Major: Chemistry
Alisha Ortiz is a senior at Portland State University. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. She plans to obtain a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and work in forensics or become a professor of chemistry. She is involved with the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), where she serves on the student advisory board, and is a part of the PSU Honors College. She is also a member, peer-mentor, and learning assistant for the NSF S-STEM program, which focuses on the interdisciplinary collaboration of research science in underrepresented minorities. Her field of work encompasses aerosol, analytical and atmospheric chemistry- focused on degradation products formed from vaporization and thermolysis reactions. She is an undergraduate research assistant in the Strongin laboratory, where she works on novel studies with THC products. She has presented her work at several symposiums with the American Chemical Society and American Association for Aerosol Research. Her McNair research focuses on the risks associated with exposure to degradation products formed from non-nicotine vaporization devices. Aside from her research, she enjoys gardening, true crime podcasts, and is an award-winning pie baker.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Strongin
Professor Robert M. Strongin obtained a BA degree in Chemistry (honors) from Temple University and his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Professor Amos B. Smith, III. He began his independent career at Louisiana State University where he rose steadily through the academic ranks to become the Philip and Foymae West Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. Upon moving to the Portland State University Department of Chemistry over 12 years ago, he received affiliate appointments at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, where he currently has several ongoing collaborations. Professor Strongin directs an internationally recognized academic research program, is a successful biotech startup founder, and is known nationally for his work in STEM education. Early in his independent career he received a highly prestigious Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award. He also has served as a Sigma Xi Distinguished National Lecturer. He has secured continuous major research support, mainly from the National Institutes of Health, for over two decades. He works on the synthesis of targeted molecular probes and biosensors for chronic disease, pharmaceuticals to treat heart arrhythmias, and the chemistry upon when vaping tobacco and cannabis products.

Disciplines

Chemistry

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33586

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Aug 12th, 12:20 PM

Identification of Degradation Products formed from the Thermolysis of Glycerol and Terpenes in MONQ Aromatherapy Devices

Degradation chemistry has been widely studied to assess the safety of aerosols in many fields. The study herein investigates the degradation products formed from MONQ personal aromatherapy devices- a new non-nicotine vape pen device on the market. These pens are marketed to alleviate symptoms of an unrecognized medical syndrome called “terpene deficiency”. These pens contain a glycerin (GL), or glycerol (VG), base and a blend of terpene-rich essential oils. Previous studies have investigated the degradation of both GL and terpenes and shown that concerning compounds are released in the gas phase, including benzene, benzaldehyde, methacrolein and methyl vinyl ketone. 7,9 Studies also conclude the formation of formaldehyde releasing agents (FRAs) from propylene glycol (PG) and GL.5 However, a study has not been done that focuses on the thermolysis reaction of terpenes combined with GL. Here, the purpose of these experiments is to bridge this gap in understanding. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-NMR) and adsorption-thermal desorption gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (ATD-GCMS) are implemented to identify the compounds in both the gas and particulate phases of MONQ devices. Methacrolein, benzene, benzaldehyde, FRA’s, and other organic acids and compounds were successfully identified in selected blends of MONQ devices. Considering most of these compounds are respiratory irritants, and benzene is a carcinogen, MONQ devices pose questionable benefits to consumers.