A semi-automated Raman micro-spectroscopy method for morphological and chemical characterizations of microplastic litter

Type Article
Date 2016-12
Language English
Author(s) Frere L.1, Paul-Pont I.1, Moreau Julien2, Soudant P.1, Lambert C.1, Huvet ArnaudORCID3, Rinnert EmmanuelORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Inst Univ Europeen Mer, Lab Sci Environm Marin LEMAR, UMR 6539, CNRS UBO IRD Ifremer, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : IFREMER, Lab Detect Capteurs & Mesures, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : CNRS UBO IRD Ifremer, IFREMER, LEMAR UMR 6539, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Marine Pollution Bulletin (0025-326X) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2016-12 , Vol. 113 , N. 1-2 , P. 461-468
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.10.051
WOS© Times Cited 111
Keyword(s) Microplastics, Raman micro-spectroscopy, Surface seawater, Morphology, Environmental monitoring, Automating
Abstract Every step of microplastic analysis (collection, extraction and characterization) is time-consuming, representing an obstacle to the implementation of large scale monitoring. This study proposes a semi-automated Raman micro-spectroscopy method coupled to static image analysis that allows the screening of a large quantity of microplastic in a time-effective way with minimal machine operator intervention. The method was validated using 103 particles collected at the sea surface spiked with 7 standard plastics: morphological and chemical characterization of particles was performed in < 3 h. The method was then applied to a larger environmental sample (n = 962 particles). The identification rate was 75% and significantly decreased as a function of particle size. Microplastics represented 71% of the identified particles and significant size differences were observed: polystyrene was mainly found in the 2–5 mm range (59%), polyethylene in the 1–2 mm range (40%) and polypropylene in the 0.335–1 mm range (42%).
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