An Environmentally Friendly Method for the Identification of Microplastics using Density Analysis


Current methodologies for microplastic polymer identification such as Fourier-transform infrared and differential scanning calorimetry are neither cost-efficient nor practical in fieldwork. Density analysis is an inexpensive and readily transportable alternative method. However, current density analysis methods use many different hazardous solutions to carry out separation and identification of plastics. We demonstrate the use of water, sucrose, and ethanol solutions for the density analysis of microplastics. The method developed was able to successfully distinguish between and identify 8 polymers commonly found in microplastic pollution.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Barnett, S., Evans, R., Quintana, B., Miliou, A. and Pietroluongo, G. (2021), An Environmentally Friendly Method for the Identification of Microplastics using Density Analysis. Environ Toxicol Chem. Accepted Author Manuscript, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Density analysis,Emerging pollutants,Environmentally friendly,Identification,Marine plastics,Microplastics,Environmental Chemistry,Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Publication ISSN: 1552-8618
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 07:18
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2021 09:46
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://onlinel ... 0.1002/etc.5164 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-12
Published Online Date: 2021-07-15
Accepted Date: 2021-07-09
Authors: Barnett, Symiah
Evans, Robert (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-1471-201X)
Quintana, Belén
Miliou, Anastasia
Pietroluongo, Guido



Version: Accepted Version

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