Identification and quantification of microplastics in wastewater using focal plane array-based reflectance micro-FT-IR imaging

Microplastics (<5 mm) have been documented in environmental samples on a global scale. While these pollutants may enter aquatic environments via wastewater treatment facilities, the abundance of microplastics in these matrices has not been investigated. Although efficient methods for the analysis of microplastics in sediment samples and marine organisms have been published, no methods have been developed for detecting these pollutants within organic-rich wastewater samples. In addition, there is no standardized method for analyzing microplastics isolated from environmental samples. In many cases, part of the identification protocol relies on visual selection before analysis, which is open to bias. In order to address this, a new method for the analysis of microplastics in wastewater was developed. (…)

Alexander S. Tagg, Melanie Sapp, Jesse P. Harrison, and Jesús J. Ojeda, Anal. Chem.87 (12), pp 6032–6040, 2015

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