Presentation Title

Novel Micro-Plastics Extraction Line: Elutriation, Chemical Digestion, and Density Separation

Presentation Type

Poster

Full Name of Faculty Mentor

Till Hanebuth, Marine Science

Major

Marine Science

Presentation Abstract

Microplastics have previously been studied mainly with a focus on beach sands. Little research suggests how to quantify microplastics in highly cohesive, organic-rich, heterogeneous sediment samples from tidal wetlands and marsh systems. Our research goal is to develop and optimize a 3-step microplastic separation line using elutriation, chemical digestion, and density separation. Elutriation uses turbulent flow to physically suspend sediment and separate plastics. Sieves are used to filter outflowing material and collect these microplastics. Chemical treatment is optimized for a fully controlled, mild, yet effective digestion of plant matter. A density separation is refined with saltwater and ZnCl2 solutions of variable densities to further separate plastics and remove the lithic components. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and automated microscopy counting techniques are utilized as a final analytical step for the classification and quantification of the compositional types, shapes, sizes, and preservation stages of the separated microplastics.

Location

Poster Session 1

Start Date

21-4-2021 12:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2021 2:00 PM

Disciplines

Oceanography

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Link to Poster Session 1

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Apr 21st, 12:00 PM Apr 21st, 2:00 PM

Novel Micro-Plastics Extraction Line: Elutriation, Chemical Digestion, and Density Separation

Poster Session 1

Microplastics have previously been studied mainly with a focus on beach sands. Little research suggests how to quantify microplastics in highly cohesive, organic-rich, heterogeneous sediment samples from tidal wetlands and marsh systems. Our research goal is to develop and optimize a 3-step microplastic separation line using elutriation, chemical digestion, and density separation. Elutriation uses turbulent flow to physically suspend sediment and separate plastics. Sieves are used to filter outflowing material and collect these microplastics. Chemical treatment is optimized for a fully controlled, mild, yet effective digestion of plant matter. A density separation is refined with saltwater and ZnCl2 solutions of variable densities to further separate plastics and remove the lithic components. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and automated microscopy counting techniques are utilized as a final analytical step for the classification and quantification of the compositional types, shapes, sizes, and preservation stages of the separated microplastics.

https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/ugrc/test1/test1track/67