With the focus on plastic pollution gathering more and more momentum, SOCOTEC can support all projects wishing to obtain data on microplastics content within various sample matrices.
Developed in-house by SOCOTEC’s specialist chemistry team, SOCOTEC accurately isolates microplastics from all other content including: sand, glass, stone as well as other inorganic and organic particles. Separation involves an intense process of wet sieving, digestion, flotation and a physical examination under a x40 optical magnification.
In addition, SOCOTEC’s fourier-transform infrared microscope equipment can accurately identify the type of plastic which is important in positively identifying a microplastic and can be useful in identifying sources.
Our highly skilled and experienced analysts also split aluminium silicon oxide spheres (deriving from fly ash) away from the microplastics; which, without expert knowledge can easily be misidentified as microbeads.
Upon completion of analysis, SOCOTEC’s final report will inform you of the total weight of microplastics, number and type of particles as well as the molecular chemistry of the microplastics.
SOCOTEC has supported a number of UK research projects with microplastic analysis, alongside other marine environmental testing. SOCOTEC is a Marine Management Organisation (MMO) approved laboratory for the chemical analysis of marine sediment samples and - as a full participant of the QUASIMEME proficiency testing scheme for over 17 years – SOCOTEC’s marine laboratory also supports marine licencing applications and activities with UKAS accredited analysis for all UK & Ireland regulatory requirements, DAERA, Marine Institute (RoI), Marine Scotland and Natural Resource Wales.