Determination of Microplastics using Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Abstract

Plastics, micro- and nanoplastics pollution in oceans, lakes and other water sources is a well-documented issue. Uptake of these particles by shellfish and fish is one avenue for the pollutants to enter the food chain and cause possible adverse effects. Micro- and nanoplastics are commonly used in commercially available products as abrasives. They end up in the environment through drain disposal since they are not always efficiently removed in the waste water treatment process.

Raman and infrared spectroscopy are often used for identification, but dyes used in the plastic material can sometimes hamper identification using these techniques.

This work shows the application of pyrolysis (GERSTEL PYRO) in combination with gas chromatography mass spectrometry for the identification of plastic pollution samples collected from the Great Lakes as well as personal care products.