Analytical Techniques for Sustainability Compliance | AIChE

Analytical Techniques for Sustainability Compliance


Li, X. - Presenter, National University of Singapore
Plastic products play a crucial role in various aspects of our daily lives, offering undeniable societal benefits. However, the widespread use and continuous buildup of microplastics (MPs) have raised significant concerns for global ecosystems and human health. Both synthetic and biopolymers contribute to plastic pollution.

Efforts have been intensified at both municipal and research levels to address the issue of microplastics in ecosystems. Municipal initiatives focus on waste management, wastewater treatment, and regulations targeting single-use and industrial applications of microplastics. Simultaneously, research endeavors are dedicated to technological advancements, such as the development of biodegradable polymers and bioremediation techniques to combat generated microplastics. Biodegradable plastics, being more susceptible to microbial activity, degrade faster than conventional synthetic plastics, offering an ecological alternative. Bioremediation involves using microorganisms to eliminate microplastics, presenting a sustainable approach.

The combination of biodegradable plastics and bioremediation emerges as a promising strategy to mitigate the challenges associated with microplastic pollution in ecosystems. To comprehensively assess the sustainability of microplastics, various analytical techniques, including visual screening, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, FTIR, etc., are essential. This presentation will demonstrate how these analytical tools can be effectively utilized to ensure sustainability compliance in managing microplastic-related concerns.