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Determination of microplastic polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in environmental samples using thermal analysis (TGA-DSC)

Majewsky, Marius and Bitter, Hajo and Eiche, Elisabeth and Horn, Harald (2016):
Determination of microplastic polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in environmental samples using thermal analysis (TGA-DSC).
In: Science of The Total Environment, pp. 507-511, 568, [Online-Edition: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.017],
[Article]

Abstract

Microplastics are increasingly detected in the environment and the consequences on water resources and ecosystems are not clear to date. The present study provides a cost-effective and straightforward method to determine the mass concentrations of polymer types using thermal analysis. Characteristic endothermic phase transition temperatures were determined for seven plastic polymer types using TGA-DSC. Based on that, extracts from wastewater samples were analyzed. Results showed that among the studied polymers, only PE and PP could be clearly identified, while the phase transition signals of the other polymers largely overlap each other. Subsequently, calibration curves were run for PE and PP for qualitative measurements. 240 and 1540mg/m3 of solid material (12µm to 1mm) was extracted from two wastewater effluent samples of a municipal WWTP of which 34% (81mg/m3) and 17% (257mg/m3) could be assigned to PE, while PP was not detected in any of the samples. The presented application of TGA-DSC provides a complementary or alternative method to FT-IR analyses for the determination of PE and PP in environmental samples.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2016
Creators: Majewsky, Marius and Bitter, Hajo and Eiche, Elisabeth and Horn, Harald
Title: Determination of microplastic polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in environmental samples using thermal analysis (TGA-DSC)
Language: English
Abstract:

Microplastics are increasingly detected in the environment and the consequences on water resources and ecosystems are not clear to date. The present study provides a cost-effective and straightforward method to determine the mass concentrations of polymer types using thermal analysis. Characteristic endothermic phase transition temperatures were determined for seven plastic polymer types using TGA-DSC. Based on that, extracts from wastewater samples were analyzed. Results showed that among the studied polymers, only PE and PP could be clearly identified, while the phase transition signals of the other polymers largely overlap each other. Subsequently, calibration curves were run for PE and PP for qualitative measurements. 240 and 1540mg/m3 of solid material (12µm to 1mm) was extracted from two wastewater effluent samples of a municipal WWTP of which 34% (81mg/m3) and 17% (257mg/m3) could be assigned to PE, while PP was not detected in any of the samples. The presented application of TGA-DSC provides a complementary or alternative method to FT-IR analyses for the determination of PE and PP in environmental samples.

Journal or Publication Title: Science of The Total Environment
Volume: 568
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aquatic systems Microplastic TGA-DSC Thermal analysis Wastewater
Divisions: 13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences > Institute IWAR > Wastewater Engineering
13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences > Institute IWAR
13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 06:24
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.017
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