Microplastics are small plastic particles which can be found both in the environment and in products of daily use such as bottled water and cosmetics.
ALS offers identification and quatification of microplastics in several sample types. The analysis is performed by µFTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy). ALS has offered methods for microplastics since 2017 and we have expanded our range of methods to meet the needs of our customers.
ALS has also analytical package for black particles
Today we are able to analyse microplastics in large number of sample types:
Analysis of microplastic in complex samples types such as sludge, sediment and soil demands extensive sample preparation to separate the microplastics from other organic and inorganic material. The separation technique depends on the sample type. Generally, inorganic and organic material is removed before filtration. Inorganic material such as mineral particles are removed from the sample by density separation. Organic material is degraded by oxidation and enzymatic treatment. Identification and quantification is performed by μ-FTIR. Our reference library is extensive, which means that we can identify a large number of plastics.
Black particles and rubber particles from for example abrasion of tyres and artificial turfs, are difficult to analyse with μ-FTIR. By using an ATR crystal in conjunction with the IR-instrument, black particles and rubber particles can be analysed. The analysis includes particles that usually can be found in tyres and granules; butadiene rubber (BR), isoprene rubber (IR), styrenebutadiene rubber (SBR) and ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM rubber).