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Conference 13006 > Paper 13006-7
Paper 13006-7

Towards a quantitative approach for the accurate analysis of blended microplastics based on 3-D micro-Raman spectroscopy

8 April 2024 • 14:20 - 14:40 CEST | Etoile B, Niveau/Level 1

Abstract

The huge demand of the market for plastic products together with inappropriate management of plastics waste endanger the environment with microplastics (MPs) pollution. MPs, commonly known as tiny plastic particles between 1 μm – 5 mm, do not always release to the environment with a simple structure made of a single-type polymer. Rather, MPs may release from bulky blended polymers that have enormous industrial applications. In the latter case, the structure of MPs can be very complicated and composed of various types of polymers, thus making their analysis very challenging. Accurate investigation of MPs requires a meticulous analysis approach that provides information about many parameters such as size, type, concentration, number, etc. among others. In this work, we showcase the application of 3-D micro-Raman spectroscopy as a promising approach for the accurate analysis of blended microplastics (B-MPs). Polypropylene (PP) and Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), as two widely used polymers, are blended at various weight ratios including 25/75, 50/50, and 75/25, and are thoroughly investigated. Thanks to the high precision of 3-D Raman mapping, not only the types of polymers are distinguished in complex B-MPs but also the morphology of the distribution of polymers as well as their quantitative concentrations are accurately estimated. Subsequently, a parameter defined as the Concentration Estimate Error (CEE) is used to evaluate the performance of the adopted approaches. In the last step, the application of a line-shaped laser line focus is demonstrated for shortening the measurement time of 3-D Raman mapping from 56 to 2 hours, still acquiring valuable information about the morphology and concentration of polymers in B-MPs.

Presenter

Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Mehrdad is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at VUB - Brussels Photonics Team. In his PhD, under the framework of a European Marie Curie project called MONPLAS, Mehrdad has been working on the characterization of microplastics in water using different optical detection techniques such as Raman spectroscopy and static light scattering. Additionally, he has been developing a miniaturized optofluidic system for online and high-throughput monitoring of microplastics in water.
Application tracks: EU-funded Research
Presenter/Author
Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Author
Jennifer Ferguson
Renishaw plc, New Mills, Wotton‑under‑Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 8JR, UK (United Kingdom)
Author
Niko Van den Brand
Department of Materials and Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Author
Tim Smith
Renishaw plc (United Kingdom)
Author
Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Author
Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Author
Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)