Automated PY-GCMS Workflow for the Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Plastics of Diverse Sizes in Environmental Samples.

Analyzing Microplastics in the Environment
Oral Presentation

Presented by A. Owens
Prepared by A. Sandy, R. Marfil-Vega, A. Owens, Y. Okamura
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, 7102 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD, 21046, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 410-910-0884


Analysis of traditional plastic materials, their newer and more sustainable alternatives, and their breakdown products, using highly automated, accurate and sensitive methods is becoming pivotal in environmental studies. This work demonstrates the use of Py-GCMS (Shimadzu GCMS-2020NX coupled with Frontier PY-3030D) to qualitative and quantitatively determine twelve environmentally relevant polymers in environmental samples. First, Evolved Gas Analysis followed by flash pyrolysis was used to qualitatively identify these polymers by means of determining their unique pyrolyzate and establishing the basis for a quantitative method. Second, a quantitative method was also developed and used to quantitate the target polymers in selected samples. For quantitation, Frontier Laboratory Microplastic Plastic (MP) library kit was used; the kit consisted of a library as well as microplastic standards and diluent for a simple calibration curve preparation. The optimized method and the results from the sample analysis will be presented in this work.