(583z) Study of Microplastics in Fresh Water Environment

J.Paul, C., National University of Singapore

Microplastics, commonly defined as particles or fibers with a diameter < 5 mm consisting of plastic are resistant to natural degradation, leading to high accumulation in environment and this accumulation exposes a global environmental concern for both their physical hazards like entanglement and biological effects like endocrine and reproduction disruption. To date, no standard protocol has been established to collect microplastics and sample treatment methods varies, which makes the results from different studies incomparable. Despite of various approaches developed for MP analysis such as FTIR, micro-R6 Raman and pyrolysis GC, there is still no well established and accepted approach in the measurement of the content of microplastics.

In this study, we will develop a fast and reliable approach for microplastics analysis in water including MP separation and measurement. A new approach is presented for microplastics samples treatment in environmental samples, based on peroxide oxidation and hydrophobic extraction. Our MP particles can be effectively separated from other particles such as natural fibers, dusts and organic tissues by applying our standardized sample treatment protocol. The sample can be directly subjected to filtration and the image-analysis allows particles to be identified and counted. This paper/poster will detail the development of this method and its initial cross-validation by comparison with infrared (IR) microscopy. Microplastics of different sizes could be detected and counted in fresh reservoir water samples.