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Adi Manish Soota

Adi Manish Soota
Project Title: 
Mapping microplastics on filter membranes using Raman microscopy: Capabilities and Limitations
Program Year: 
Lili He

Microplastic pollution has been increasing over the last 70 years, becoming a worldwide concern in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Microplastics are categorized as plastics, smaller than 5mm. Microplastics could also enter the environment through the discharge of untreated chemicals from various industries into rivers, oceans, etc. Once they enter the environment, Microplastics are consumed by aquatic and terrestrial organisms which then enter the human bodies through the food chain.The objective of this experiment was to determine the capability and limitations of Raman Microscope to detect 10 μm and 1 μm in Polystyrene particles. Herein, we described a filter-Raman mapping technique as a rapid approach for the recovery, identification, and quantification of microplastics of different sizes. The microplastics (1 μm &10 μm) dissolved in water were collected in Anodisac (Alumina) filters and scanned by Raman microscopy. The results showed that a low microplastics concentration of 10 particles/mL and individual microplastics down to 1 um in size were achieved using Raman microscopy. A positive correlation between the Raman image pixels and the microplastic amount measured was confirmed with a highest correlation coefficient of 0.9969. Overall, the proposed method shows potential for application in microplastics at smaller range (1 and 10 μm), while optimization work needs to be employed to reduce the interference from the food matrix.