Identification of Microplastics in Water by Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Analyzing Microplastics in the Environment
Oral Presentation

Prepared by K. Thaxton1, J. Suff2, J. Whitecavage2, N. Kfoury2
1 - GERSTEL GmbH, 1 Eberhard Gerstel Platz, Muelheim an der Ruhr, -- Please Select --, 45473, Germany
2 - GERSTEL Inc., 701 Digital Drive Suite J, Linthicum Heights, MD, 21090, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; +14438334458


Micro- and nano-plastics pollution in oceans, lakes and other water sources is an on-going and well-documented issue. Sources and entry ways of these plastics include grey water, surface runoff, and litter.

Grey water is defined as the relatively clean wastewater from sources such as baths, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers. The very small plastic particle size precludes efficient removal during the wastewater treatment process. As a result, fish and other aquatic life ingest the plastics, which introduces them into the food chain and causes possible adverse effects.

This presentation will show the identification of plastics in various water sources after filtration followed by analysis by pyrolysis in combination with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).