Sampling, separation, detection, and characterization of microplastics (MPs) dispersed in natural water bodies and ecosystems is a challenging and critical issue for a better understanding of the hazards for the environment posed by such nearly ubiquitous and still largely unknown form of pollution. There is still the need for exhaustive, reliable, accurate, reasonably fast and cost efficient analytical protocols allowing the quantification not only of MPs, but also of nanoplastics (NPs) and of the harmful molecular pollutants that may result from degrading plastics. Here a set of newly developed analytical protocols, integrated with specialized techniques such as pyrolysis-gaschromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), for the accurate and selective determination of the polymers most commonly found as MPs polluting marine and freshwater sediments are presented. In addition, the results of an investigation on the low molecular weight volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released upon photo-oxidative degradation of microplastics highlight the important role of photoinduced fragmentation at a molecular level both as a potential source of hazardous chemicals and as accelerators of the overall degradation of floating or stranded plastic debris.

New methodologies for the detection, identification, and quantification of microplastics and their environmental degradation by-products

Valter Castelvetro
Primo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Andrea Corti
Secondo
Methodology
;
Greta Biale
Investigation
;
Alessio Ceccarini
Formal Analysis
;
Ilaria Degano
Supervision
;
Jacopo La Nasa
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Tommaso Lomonaco
Methodology
;
Antonella Manariti
Investigation
;
Francesca Modugno
Ultimo
Supervision
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Sampling, separation, detection, and characterization of microplastics (MPs) dispersed in natural water bodies and ecosystems is a challenging and critical issue for a better understanding of the hazards for the environment posed by such nearly ubiquitous and still largely unknown form of pollution. There is still the need for exhaustive, reliable, accurate, reasonably fast and cost efficient analytical protocols allowing the quantification not only of MPs, but also of nanoplastics (NPs) and of the harmful molecular pollutants that may result from degrading plastics. Here a set of newly developed analytical protocols, integrated with specialized techniques such as pyrolysis-gaschromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), for the accurate and selective determination of the polymers most commonly found as MPs polluting marine and freshwater sediments are presented. In addition, the results of an investigation on the low molecular weight volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released upon photo-oxidative degradation of microplastics highlight the important role of photoinduced fragmentation at a molecular level both as a potential source of hazardous chemicals and as accelerators of the overall degradation of floating or stranded plastic debris.
2021
Castelvetro, Valter; Corti, Andrea; Biale, Greta; Ceccarini, Alessio; Degano, Ilaria; LA NASA, Jacopo; Lomonaco, Tommaso; Manariti, Antonella; Manco, Enrico; Modugno, Francesca; Vinciguerra, Virginia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1071350
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