Recent developments in mass spectrometry for the characterization of micro- and nanoscale plastic debris in the environment

Catégorie : Détection et Caractérisation
Date :17 septembre 2020
Velimirovic, Milica; Tirez, Kristof; Voorspoels, Stefan; Vanhaecke, Frank.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Development of analytical methods for the characterization (particle size determination, identification, and quantification) of the micro- and nanoscale plastic debris in the environment is a quickly emerging field and has gained considerable attention, not only within the scientific community, but also on the part of policy makers and the general public. In this Trends paper, the importance of developing and further improving analytical methodologies for the detection and characterization of sub-20-mu m-range microplastics and especially nanoplastics is highlighted. A short overview of analytical methodologies showing considerable promise for the detection and characterization of such micro- and nanoscale plastic debris is provided, with emphasis on recent developments in mass spectrometry (MS)-based analytical methods. Novel hyphenated techniques combining the strengths of different analytical methods, such as field flow fractionation and MS-based detection, may be a way to adequately address the smallest fractions in plastic debris analysis, making such approaches worthwhile to be further explored.