Analytical characterization of East Asian handmade papers: A combined approach using Py-GCxGC/MS and multivariate analysis
An analytical method based on the combination of on-line pyrolysis-comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and multivariate analysis for a direct characterization of traditional East Asian handmade papers is presented here. The method was applied to three kinds of widely used handmade papers in East Asia followed by an attempt of identification of ancient lining papers belonging to museum samples of unknown origin. The results indicated that Py-GCxGC/MS, together with multivariate data analysis, was more efficient and reliable compared to the compound presence/absence analysis to meet the challenging search for organic markers in rare cultural heritage materials. The established method showed promises as an efficient analytical tool for the characterization of artwork and culture heritage materials and in filling the lacuna for papermaking fiber analysis which is currently almost entirely relied on microscopy analysis. Results also revealed that two-dimensional techniques could constitute an efficient approach for the analysis of complex artwork samples to circumvent the limitation of materials at disposal in cultural heritage studies.