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Microplastics analysis using FTIR and Infrared Microscope system


Plastics are important materials that are abundant in our economy. They make our lives easier in many ways and are often lighter or cost less than alternative materials. However, if they are not properly disposed of or recycled after they are used, they are often released into that environment where they can persist for long periods and degrade into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics, that are of concern.

Microplastics are very small (typically smaller than 5mm) solid particles composed of mixtures of polymers (the primary components of plastics) and functional additives.

Microplastics are classified into primary microplastics and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics are manufactured as materials for use in scrubs and industrial abrasives and are often made of polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). Secondary microplastics refer to plastics that have been broken down from larger debris into pieces with a diameter of 5 mm or less due to external factors such as ultraviolet radiation.

In the past few years, scientists have found microplastics in our soil, tap water, bottled water, beer and even in the air we breathe. And there's growing concern about the potential health risks they pose to humans.

Various analysis methods have been proposed, including qualitative analysis tailored to the size of the microplastic fragments and quantitative analysis suitable for absorbed compounds. However, determining a unified analysis method remains a challenge. This webinar introduces example analyses of microplastics using FTIR and an infrared microscope system, which are highly suitable for qualitative analysis.

For webinar click here.


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