Microplastics Analysis: Simplified Workflows for Comprehensive Characterization in the Environment

Vendor Lunch Speaker
Oral Presentation

Prepared by J. Prevatt1, T. Anumol2
1 - Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Dept, 2955 W. Calle Aqua Nueva, Tucson, AZ, 85745, United States
2 - Agilent Technologies, Inc., 2850 Centerville Rd, Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: jeff.prevatt@pima.gov; 520-724-6060


The presence of microplastics in the aquatic environment has become an increasing global concern.  Toxicity resulting from ingestion, bioaccumulation and organic pollutants adsorbed on microplastic particles is presently unknown.  The analysis of these microplastics has traditionally been challenging. In part, this is due to the fact that microplastics characterization involves various parameters of interest like size fraction, polymer identification, number of particles, mass fraction, concentration, surface area, and others. Hence, complementary techniques are needed for complete characterization of microplastics in the environment.

This presentation will highlight the unique benefits of using gas chromatography mass spectrometry with pyrolysis and innovative thermal desorption techniques for the measurement of mass fraction and concentration of microplastics in water, air and soil. Further, the use and development of a revolutionary laser direct infrared (LDIR)chemical imaging  instrument for rapid, reliable and robust characterization of particle size, ID, surface area and diameter will be shown in practice.