Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 9, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Identification methods in microplastic analysis: a review

Author affiliations

Abstract

Microplastics have become a major global environmental issue in recent decades due to their ubiquity in the oceans, bioavailability and ability to carry toxic chemicals. Analysis of microplastics in environmental and experimental samples has become increasingly common. We conducted a literature survey to review the current identification methods for microplastics. The advantages and limitations of each identification method were compared to indicate the best methods for microplastic analysis. Identification of microplastics is based on the physical and chemical characterisation of isolated particles in mixtures of inorganic and organic remnant particles after the extraction and clean-up steps. In addition, novel methods which may possibly be applied to microplastic identification were suggested. Microscopic identification by itself has a high risk of producing both false positive and false negative results in analyses of small microplastics. At present, combinations of physical (e.g., microscopy) and chemical (e.g., spectroscopy) analyses are widely used. However, there is a need to improve and develop new methods to reduce the identification time and effort and to detect sub-micron plastics in environmental samples.

Graphical abstract: Identification methods in microplastic analysis: a review

Back to tab navigation

Article information


Submitted
12 9 2016
Accepted
20 11 2016
First published
21 11 2016

Anal. Methods, 2017,9, 1384-1391
Article type
Critical Review

Identification methods in microplastic analysis: a review

W. J. Shim, S. H. Hong and S. E. Eo, Anal. Methods, 2017, 9, 1384
DOI: 10.1039/C6AY02558G

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements