An assessment workflow to recover microplastics from complex biological matrices

Santana, Marina F.M., Kroon, Frederieke J., van Herwerden, Lynne, Vamvounis, George, and Motti, Cherie A. (2022) An assessment workflow to recover microplastics from complex biological matrices. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 179. 113676.

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A criteria-guided workflow was applied to assess the effectiveness of microplastic separation methods on complex marine biological matrices. Efficacy of four methods (nitric acid, HNO3, and potassium hydroxide, KOH, digestions, and sodium chloride, NaCl, and potassium iodide, KI, density flotations) was evaluated on four taxa (hard coral, sponge, sea squirt, sea cucumber) using five microplastics (polyethylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, PET, polyvinylchloride, rayon). Matrix clarification was only unacceptably low for KOH. PET discoloured regardless of reagent. Rayon threads unravelled into monofilaments after exposure to all reagents, with discolouration also occurring with HNO3. Recovery rates were overall high, except for dense microplastics treated with NaCl and only KI yielded high rayon recovery efficiency. All polymers were accurately assigned, with subtle spectral changes observed. These results demonstrate specific limitations to separation methods applied to different biological matrices and microplastics and highlight the need to assess their suitability to provide estimates of microplastic contamination.

Item ID: 73691
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Copyright Information: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 30 May 2022 01:54
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410599 Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified @ 25%
40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400499 Chemical engineering not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180505 Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition @ 100%
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