Plastic inputs in the environment are omnipresent. Especially microplastics are entering all types of environmental compartments. Microplastics are particles in the range of a few micrometers up to five millimetres. Fast and sound analytical methods are preconditions for achieving a comprehensive overview of the existing microplastics in water bodies.
In this context, the „Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)“, Berlin, has developed a new method for determination of microplastics. This project was funded by the DBU and is carried out in cooperation with the companies “Gerstel GmbH & Co. KG”, Mülheim an der Ruhr, and the “Lablicate GmbH”, Hamburg. To date, mainly spectroscopic techniques such as ultrared or so-called “Raman spectroscopy” are used for microplastic analyses in general. These are time consuming and determine the shape and number of particles only. BAM newly developed a thermoanalytical process called thermo-extraction-desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TED-GC-MS) and its related software.
By the fast and precise measurement of TED-GC-MS insights of entry and transport paths are revealed. These paths can be assessed and allow the planning of appropriate measures that contribute to the sustainable improvement of water quality. The project aims to generate reliable data, which form the basis for a trustworthy evaluation of water bodies and for an establishment of suitable environmental measure catalogue.
More information (in German): https://www.dbu.de/123artikel38180_2698.html