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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-01-11
    Description: Microplastics (〈5 mm) have become an increasing concern for the environment. These small plastic items can contain toxic ingredients and are assumed to accumulate persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals from the surroundings. Since microplastics are ingested by small organisms, they harbour the risk to propagate with these hazardous substances up the food chain. An environmental risk assessment is highly needed, but currently not possible since reliable data about the amount of microplastics in the environment are lacking. The detection of microplastics poses a challenge in many respects with the analytical investigation as one major issue. The most reliable techniques for the experienced analysis of microplastics are Raman and Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. In this context, two highly promising approaches have been suggested to automate microplastics counting: chemical imaging and single-particle exploring (SPE). In this study, microplastics have been investigated for the first time by combined analysis with µ-Raman, ATR-FTIR, SPE coupled to µ-Raman (SPE-µ-Raman), and µ-FTIR chemical imaging in reflection-absorption mode
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-03-13
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-10-24
    Description: Microplastics (MPs, 〈5 mm) have been reported as emerging environmental contaminants, but reliable data are still lacking. We compared the two most promising techniques for MP analysis, namely, Raman and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, by analyzing MPs extracted from North Sea surface waters. Microplastics 〉500 μm were visually sorted and manually analyzed by μ-Raman and attenuated total reflection (ATR)-FTIR spectroscopy. Microplastics ≤500 μm were concentrated on gold-coated filters and analyzed by automated single-particle exploration coupled to μ-Raman (ASPEx-μ-Raman) and FTIR imaging (reflection mode). The number of identified MPs 〉500 μm was slightly higher for μ-Raman (+23%) than ATR-FTIR analysis. Concerning MPs ≤500 μm, ASPEx-μ-Raman quantified two-times higher MP numbers but required a four-times higher analysis time compared to FTIR imaging. Because ASPEx-μ-Raman revealed far higher MP concentrations (38–2621 particles m–3) compared to the results of previous water studies (0–559 particles m–3), the environmental concentration of MPs ≤500 μm may have been underestimated until now. This may be attributed to the exceptional increase in concentration with decreasing MP size found in this work. Our results demonstrate the need for further research to enable time-efficient routine application of ASPEx-μ-Raman for reliable MP counting down to 1 μm.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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