An Environmentally Friendly Method for the Identification of Microplastics using Density Analysis

Symiah Barnett*, Robert Evans, Belén Quintana, Anastasia Miliou, Guido Pietroluongo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current methodologies for microplastic polymer identification such as Fourier-transform infrared and differential scanning calorimetry are neither cost-efficient nor practical in fieldwork. Density analysis is an inexpensive and readily transportable alternative method. However, current density analysis methods use many different hazardous solutions to carry out separation and identification of plastics. We demonstrate the use of water, sucrose, and ethanol solutions for the density analysis of microplastics. The method developed was able to successfully distinguish between and identify 8 polymers commonly found in microplastic pollution. 

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Early online date15 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Barnett, S., Evans, R., Quintana, B., Miliou, A. and Pietroluongo, G. (2021), An Environmentally Friendly Method for the Identification of Microplastics using Density Analysis. Environ Toxicol Chem. Accepted Author Manuscript, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.5164. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Keywords

  • Density analysis
  • Emerging pollutants
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Identification
  • Marine plastics
  • Microplastics

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