The Scientific and Technological Centers participate in the workshop Marine Litter in the VII International Symposium on Marine Science (ISMS-2020)) that is organized biannually the six Spanish universities that offer the Marine Science degree (Alicante, Barcelona, Cádiz, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Católica de Valencia and Vigo). The edition of this year that has the University of Barcelona as headquarters, takes place between the first and third of July.
Given the current situation, it was decided to go on with the workshops in a non-contact form. The PhD Núria Ferrer, responsible of the Molecular spectroscopy Unit and who was part in the organizing committee of the workshop, was also responsible of the workshop 'Microplastic identification by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy FT-IR'. Our participation consisted in the presentation of videos along to a videoconference session where the participants could ask and share their opinion on the topic.
It was exposed the growing interest from oceanographers in the identification of microplastics in marine environment. Nowadays there is a lot of concern about the presence of microplastics and their identification using methods the simpler and fast as possible. This implies tune up new methods and make them more affordable for researches that work in laboratories and for those who work in ships.
The infrared spectrometers allow the characterization of small fibers or particles, between 20 and 200 microns approximately. Other bigger particles may be analyzed with the macro equipment, using accessories of Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) or diffuse Reflection (DRIFT). The technique, available from the Molecular spectroscopy Unit of the CCiTUB, allows the analysis of samples very fast and without previous manipulation. This has made possible, especially in the last years, the participation of the Unit in studies related with the marine ecosystems among others.
Nowadays several filtration methods are being tune up to simplify the posterior analyze by infrared spectrometry.